Cop's 'Bittersweet' Arrest of Fugitive Wanted for 36 Years

Michael Morrow was serving time for robbery with a weapon when he escaped from a California prison in 1977, but a cop who finally caught up to Morrow and arrested him this week said he did it with mixed emotions.


Morrow, who has lived as Carl Frank Wilson for the past 36 years, was married with three children and grandchildren. By outward appearances, Morrow had lived a law abiding life since breaking out of prison.

"It's good to have him answer to justice, but to take an elderly person with medical issues, who has otherwise lived a quiet, peaceful life, never causing any problems, went to church every Sunday, it was bittersweet," said Detective Sgt. Joel Ware of the Garland County Sheriff's Department in Arkansas where Morrow was living.

"He was super nice to us, very cooperative," Ware told ABC News.

Morrow, now 70, so completely became his alias of Carl Wilson that even his family was not aware of his true identity and his prison past, Ware said.

He is now sitting in the Garland County Jail in Arkansas awaiting extradition to California.

Morrow had a series of arrests before he escaped and changed identities. He had served time for forgery and first degree robbery in 1965 and 1968, according to California prisons spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

He was arrested again in 1973 for two counts of first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. On Aug. 27, 1977, Morrow slipped away from the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Morrow said he decided to break out in the fourth year of his sentence because "there were some individuals inside the prison that wanted him dead, and he felt like he needed to get out and protect his own life," Ware said.

"He had a pretty good plan," the sergeant added.

But Morrow's not telling what his escape plan was because he is waiting to get back to California and tell them, Ware said.

Ware and two colleagues went to Morrow's house on Monday and were able to bring him outside his home to speak with them. When the officer revealed the reason for their visit, Morrow said, "You've got me... I've been all around expecting this to happen."

"He was visibly upset but there was sense of relief as well," said Ware. "Looking over your shoulders for the past 36 years and not having to do it anymore, there's got to be relief in that."

What tripped up Morrow was being picked up in 1984 in Saline County, Ark., on suspicion of murder. He was cleared as a suspect, but not before police took his fingerprints.

According to a police report filed by the FBI's Little Rock Division, "Investigators matched fingerprints to those of a man using the name of Carl Frank Wilson when he was arrested by the Saline County Sheriff's Department in 1984." The name Michael Morrow did not come up.

But decades later, those fingerprints resurfaced, although authorities are not saying why or how it came up.

"Databases weren't as automated in 1984 as they are now," said Thornton. If the fingerprints were put through the system and matched, "they would have found our warrant" long ago, she said.

Between 1977 and 2012, 98.5 percent of all California prison escapees have been recaptured.

"Of all the people that we have apprehended, Morrow has been on the run the longest," Thornton said.

US agency names Venezuelan minister among 'most wanted' fugitives.

WASHINGTON: United States immigration officials have added Venezuelan government minister Tareck El Aissami, a suspected drug smuggler, to their list of most wanted fugitives, they said on Wednesday (Jul 31).

Venezuelan industry minister and former vice president Tareck El Aissami was charged with drug trafficking in March. (AFP/YURI CORTEZ)

Venezuelan industry minister and former vice president Tareck El Aissami was charged with drug trafficking in March. (AFP/YURI CORTEZ)

"Have you seen this #mostwanted #fugitive?," Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) posted on its Twitter account, alongside a picture of the industry minister and former deputy to President Nicolas Maduro.

"He's wanted for international narcotics trafficking."

US federal authorities in March charged El Aissami with drug trafficking and dodging sanctions imposed by Washington.

If he is arrested and extradited El Aissami could face up to 30 years in prison.

The US designated El Aissami in February 2017 as having played "a significant role in international narcotics trafficking."

"In his previous positions, he oversaw or partially owned narcotics shipments of more than 1,000 kilogrammes from Venezuela on multiple occasions, including those with the final destinations of Mexico and the United States," ICE said on its website.

Venezuela is struggling with a political and economic crisis that the United Nations says has left a quarter of its 30 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

In January, National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido declared himself acting president, branding Maduro an "usurper" over his re-election last year in a poll widely believed to have been rigged.

But despite the support of some 50 countries including the US, Guaido has been unable to dislodge him from power.

ICE Asks If You’ve Seen Venezuela’s ‘Most Wanted’ Minister

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement published a photograph of Venezuela Industry Minister Tareck El Aissami, one of President Nicolas Maduro’s closest allies, with the question, “Have you seen this most wanted fugitive?”

Tareck El Aissami

Tareck El Aissami

Part of its Most Wanted Wednesday campaign, ICE, as the agency is known, said on Twitter that El Aissami is wanted for international narcotics trafficking. The notice on ICE’s website listed El Aissami’s last known location as Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, and indicated any reward information as “not available.”

#MostWantedWednesday Have you seen this #mostwanted #fugitive? He's wanted for international narcotics trafficking.

— ICE (@ICEgov) July 31, 2019

The U.S. designated El Aissami, who then served as vice president, as a narcotics trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act in 2017. The Treasury Department alleged that El Aissami protected drug lords and oversaw a network of planes and ships exporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine.

Samark Lopez Bello, who is considered a close business associate, appeared alongside El Aissami on ICE’s most wanted list. Lopez Bello was also sanctioned under the Kingpin Act in 2017.

Wanted Canadian drug trafficker arrested in Bangkok

Immigration police have arrested a man wanted for trafficking more than 200kg of cocaine in Canada.

On Monday, officers swooped on a condominium in the Huai Kwang district of Bangkok and arrested Canadian Khamla Wong.

Immigration officers told reporters that Wong is thought to have been on the run in Thailand since 2012, having fled his native Canada when other members of his crime network were arrested by Canadian authorities for drug trafficking and possession of illegal weapons.

Police in Canada say Wong was part of a major drug dealing operation which spanned two continents and involved the smuggling of a large amount of narcotics between British Columbia, California, Mexico and Peru.

Khamla Wong (right)

Wong was reportedly found to be in possession of a counterfeit Thai ID card which he bought for 500,000 Baht, and which he subsequently used to successfully apply for a Thai passport. Using the passport, he travelled in and out of Thailand on 14 separate occasions.

Immigration chief Pol Lt. Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn also confirmed that a Chinese national, Mr Yang Fang was arrested with Wong and the pair were found to be in possession of 259 ecstasy tablets.

Both men have been charged with drug possession. Mr Wong is due to be extradited back to Canada.

FBI tracks American woman wanted over fatal hit-and-run to Adelaide

FBI special agents have tracked down an American woman, currently on their most-wanted list, to Adelaide after an international search spanning seven months.

A tip-off from a woman lead police to Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes.

A tip-off from a woman lead police to Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes.

Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes, 33, is facing extradition to the United States after she allegedly hit and killed cyclist Agustin Rodriguez Jr in January 2017 and fled the scene.

Documents from the United States District Court allege Ms Chan Reyes was travelling at a "high rate of speed" when she hit the 46-year-old man, who was dragged about 270 metres under her sports car.

The court documents stated that she did not stop to help the cyclist, as is required by law, and instead continued driving at an "unsafe speed" on the wrong side of the road.

Later that same day, Ms Chan Reyes took her white Lexus, which had a broken windscreen and damage to the front bumper, headlight and front area of the roof, to a repair shop in California where she told staff she had hit a deer.

She flew to Hong Kong — where she had family ties — five days after the fatal hit-and-run in a move the FBI claimed was "with the intent to avoid prosecution".

Within an hour of the collision on January 30, the Whittier Police Department issued a press release seeking the public's help in any information about a white Lexus involved in the hit-and-run.

It was a tip-off from a woman, believed to be a colleague of Ms Chan Reyes, more than a week after the crash that alerted police that she could be the owner of the white Lexus involved in the incident.

The woman told police Ms Chan Reyes drove a white Lexus and had been late to work on the day of the crash.

About four weeks later, in March 2017, police officers used the car's internal GPS system to track it down to a private garage, which was owned by a business associate of Ms Chan Reyes' boyfriend at the time.

The Whittier Police Department allege they found DNA on the car which matched the victim.

Documents show several trips to Hong Kong

Court documents stated the owner of the garage told police Ms Chan Reyes had told him she had "hit somebody on a bike and left the scene".

An arrest warrant was issued in September 2017.

Court documents show the US citizen, who was born in the Philippines, made several trips between Hong Kong and Australia in August and September 2017.

This week, the Adelaide Magistrates Court heard Ms Chan Reyes was arrested by Australian Federal Police in Adelaide in April 2018 and has been remanded in custody since then.

If extradited, she faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person and destroying or concealing evidence.

Her case will return to the Adelaide Magistrates Court next month.