U.S. fugitive known as ‘Fat Leonard’ apprehended in Venezuela after weeks on the run

A military contractor known as “Fat Leonard”. who escaped by cutting his anklet. was arrested in Venezuela after pleading guilty in a major Navy corruption scandal, officials said Wednesday.

Leonard Glenn Francis, who was under house arrest in San Diego and weeks away from being sentenced, had his GPS tracker removed on September 4. US Marshals Service. Francis had. What was the confession in 2015? Bribing Navy officials in a $35 million scandal.

Francis was captured by Venezuelan authorities, who were alerted by Interpol that he was on the run, as he was trying to board a plane bound for another country, a marshal’s spokesman said. .

Interpol Venezuela Director General Carlos Garrett Rondon said in a statement that Francis had entered the country from Mexico with a stopover in Cuba. Rondon said his final destination was Russia.

He was arrested at Simon Bolivar International Airport and will remain in Venezuelan custody while U.S. Marshals and other federal authorities work out the details of his extradition to the United States.

Francis was arrested in 2013. He admitted to offering $500,000 in bribes to naval officers, who exchanged classified information with him and directed military ships to ports that would benefit his Singapore-based ship servicing company. .

Prosecutors say Francis and his firm took more than $35 million from the U.S. military.

He had been under house arrest since at least 2018.

Before his disappearance, US Probation Services, the federal agency overseeing his house arrest, received an alert that his GPS ankle monitor was being tampered with. Pretrial Services notified the Marshals Service of the alert, the agency said.

Members of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force went to Francis’ residence and, after announcing themselves, entered his home through an unlocked door, the Marshals Service said. Officers were unable to locate Francis, but found his GPS ankle monitor, which had been cut off, marshals said.

Francis’ neighbors told marshals that several U-Haul trucks had been in and out of the house throughout the week, said Omar Castillo, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal. San Diego Union Tribune Reported

Castillo said it became clear that Francis had been planning his escape for some time.

Tim Stelloh Cooperated.

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