Diplomatic Security Locates, Helps Return U.S. Fugitive From Costa Rica
U.S. fugitive Wayne Thomas Duffiney has been returned to the United States from Costa Rica thanks to the key role played by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) in locating and facilitating the arrest of the suspect.
Duffiney was wanted in Michigan by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) for failure to appear in court for a sentencing hearing. He previously had been convicted of violating the Federal Clean Water Act in May 2007, when he purposely sunk his boat in Lake Huron -- a case that received significant media attention in Michigan.
Duffiney fled the U.S. before the sentencing. The Marshals Service subsequently requested assistance from Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica in tracking down the fugitive.
DS regional security officers from the U.S. Embassy worked with Costa Rican police to locate Duffiney in a hotel in the small coastal village of Miramar, 75 miles west of the capital of San Jose. DS surveillance indicated that Duffiney stayed close to the hotel but maintained a routine of coming downstairs for meals. On a ruse, DS personnel urged him to step outside the hotel, where he was arrested on June 1 by Costa Rican Immigration Police.
Duffiney was deported on June 15 to the United States, where he was taken into custody by USMS.
“Diplomatic Security’s regional security office in San Jose worked closely with the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, and our law enforcement counterparts in Costa Rica to locate Duffiney and facilitate his timely return to the United States,” said Jeffrey W. Culver, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service. “This is an example of the unparalleled capability of Diplomatic Security to locate, pursue, and return fugitives.”
Because Diplomatic Security is the most widely represented law enforcement organization in the world, its capability to track and capture fugitives who have fled U.S. jurisdiction to avoid prosecution is unmatched. During 2009, DS assisted in the resolution of 136 international fugitive cases.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. More information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at www.state.gov/m/ds.
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