U.S. fugitive often called ‘Fats Leonard’ apprehended in Venezuela after weeks on the run

A navy contractor often called “Fats Leonard,” who minimize off his ankle bracelet and fled after he pleaded responsible in a serious Navy corruption scandal, was apprehended in Venezuela, authorities stated Wednesday.

Leonard Glenn Francis, who was on home arrest in San Diego and weeks away from sentencing, eliminated his GPS tracker Sept. 4, in response to the U.S. Marshals Service. Francis had pleaded responsible in 2015 to bribing Navy officers in a $35 million scandal.

Francis was captured by Venezuelan authorities, who had been made conscious that he was on the run by Interpol, as he was making an attempt to board a airplane certain for an additional nation, a marshals spokesperson stated.

Carlos Garate Rondon, director basic of Interpol Venezuela, stated in an announcement that Francis had entered the nation from Mexico with a stopover in Cuba. His ultimate vacation spot was Russia, Rondon stated.

He was apprehended at Simón Bolívar Worldwide Airport and can stay in Venezuelan custody whereas U.S. marshals and different federal authorities work out particulars of his extradition to the U.S.

Francis was arrested in 2013. He pleaded responsible to providing $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers, who in trade shared labeled data with him and redirected navy vessels to ports that might be helpful for his Singapore-based ship servicing firm.

Prosecutors say Francis and his agency overcharged the U.S. navy greater than $35 million.

He had been underneath home arrest since no less than 2018.

Earlier than he disappeared, U.S. Pretrial Providers, the federal company in command of monitoring his residence confinement, obtained an alert that his GPS ankle monitor was being tampered with. Pretrial Providers notified the Marshals Service in regards to the alert, the company stated.

Members of the San Diego Fugitive Job Power went to Francis’ residence and, after they introduced themselves, went into his residence by an unlocked door, the Marshals Service stated. Officers have been unable to search out Francis, however they discovered his GPS ankle monitor, which had been minimize off, the marshals stated.

Francis’ neighbors informed marshals that a number of U-Haul vans had been out and in of the home all week, stated Omar Castillo, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal, The San Diego Union Tribune reported. 

It appeared clear that Francis had been planning his escape for a while, Castillo stated.

Tim Stelloh contributed.

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