Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Crime Stoppers Seek to Capture International Fugitives Hiding in U.S.

Wilhelm Alvin Marti is wanted in India on allegations of sex crimes, crimes against children and kidnapping.

Emil Durst is wanted on drug crime charges in Panama.

William Gomez Lima is wanted in a kidnapping case in Brazil.

What do these men have in common?

They're wanted around the world, but they all could be living in the United States.

They could be sitting next to you on the bus; they could be living in the house next door. They could be anywhere in America.

Now, Crime Stoppers International is turning to the public to help track down these international fugitives.

Operation I.N.F.R.A. – International Fugitive Round-up and Arrest, is a U.S. Marshals initiative in partnership with Crime Stoppers International, Interpol and other partners in the international law enforcement community. It launched June 1, and has already had one success story in Britain. Just hours after his face was posted on the Crime Stoppers International Web site, Balazs Asztalos, 25, of Hungary, was arrested working at a fair in England, the BBC reported.

Asztalos was wanted under a European arrest warrant for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old and forcing another child to watch, according to the BBC.

"We are very proud of the cooperative nature of our international operations," U.S. Marshals spokesman Jeff Carter told FOXNews.com.

While the FBI is not involved with this Crime Stoppers initiative, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said that publicizing the faces and crimes of fugitives has been helpful to the agency in the past when tracking down domestic criminals.

The FBI uses billboards and social media to publicize fugitives and has been very successful in gathering information that way, Bresson said. “I’m some cases its very much to our advantage to seek the public’s help.”

Crime Stoppers published a list of 66 fugitives who have ties to the U.S. who could be living here.

Click here to see photos of fugitives who could be in the U.S.

The site allows anyone with information on any of the fugitives to submit it anonymously online. In domestic operations, Crime Stoppers offers rewards for information, but on the international level they are not, said Tom Kern, chairman of the U.S. branch of Crime Stoppers International.

“We want to publicize these people who normally don't get the attention,” Kern told FOXNews.com. “We have people who may have fled other countries and now may be in the United States. Let's do what we can to locate them and send them back to face justice.”

The information on each fugitive includes photographs, where they’re from and in some cases information about where they’re wanted and why. It is taken from the Interpol public Web site, Kern said.

Any tips Crime Stoppers receives on international cases are forwarded to an operations center in the U.K. and are then forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

Kern said fugitives who could be hiding in the U.S. most likely either came in illegally or were already here when their arrest warrants were issued or before their crimes were discovered.

“The fact that they're wanted in another country doesn't mean the [local] police have the authority to come put the handcuffs on and take him to jail,” Kern said. Instead, international fugitives must be apprehended through government channels and sometimes international treaties come into play.

The idea, he said, is to apprehend internationally wanted fugitives who may be in the U.S. before they commit crimes locally.

“We certainly don't want someone who was a sex offender or child molester in another country to come over here and continue their crime spree. We want to stop them before they start creating new victims or get them out of here before they try,” Kern said.