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For Immediate Release

August 24, 2013 DUSM James Badway, District of New Mexico (505) 938-7550
It Ended at the John Dunn Bridge

Albuquerque, NM – On August 13, 2013, Thomas A. Gay allegedly molested four children under the age of 8 years old at Elephant Butte State Park. When confronted by the children’s family Gay and his girlfriend Paula Tracy fled the scene. Reports indicate that Gay was a stranger to the family and befriended them at a camp site on the lake. On August 16, 2013, Sierra County Sheriff’s Detectives and NM State Park Rangers were able to positively identify Gay as the offender and obtained a warrant for his arrest. In the District Court, State of New Mexico, County of Sierra, Gay was charged with Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor, Aggravated Indecent Exposure, and Selling or Giving Alcoholic Beverages to Minors.

Sierra County Detectives identified Thomas A. Gay as a Registered Sex Offender that was living in Albuquerque, NM, currently registered in Bernalillo County, NM. Gay has a violent criminal history that spans 6 states over the past 30+ years. August 19, 2013, Sierra County Detectives believed Gay was back in Albuquerque and referred the fugitive investigation aspect of the case to the United States Marshals Service and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). Over the last 4 days, teams made up of Deputy Marshals and Deputy Sheriff’s from BCSO’s Repeat Offender Project (ROP) team investigated several leads around the city and conducted dozens of interviews in an attempt to develop information on where Gay and Tracy had fled too.

Early this morning Deputies developed information that the couple had fled in a camper to Taos, NM, and had been staying in camp sites since Sunday. An attempt to locate was put out with law enforcement agencies in the Taos area. The Marshals Service’s South West Investigative Fugitive Team (SWIFT) task force responded to Taos sending a Deputy Marshal and Task Force Officers from BCSO and the New Mexico Department of Corrections STIU. SWIFT task force investigators were joined by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rangers, Taos Police Detectives, and New Mexico State Police. For several hours, the group of law enforcement officers checked all of the camp sites in and around Taos.

Around 2:00 in the afternoon, a BLM Ranger contacted the team of law enforcement officers and advised he had a visual sighting of Gay and Tracy at the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge underneath the John Dunn Bridge. The area is a very popular tourist attraction known for its many hot springs. Once the team of law enforcement officers arrived, they moved in on Gay’s camper. Gay exited the camper as Deputies approached. Gay was taken into custody without incident. Thomas A. Gay was booked into the Taos County Jail and is awaiting extradition back to Sierra County to face charges. District of New Mexico, United States Marshal Conrad Candelaria said “this most recent arrest by the Marshals Service and its many partners, is only one of several dangerous sex offenders that have been arrested within the week. Dangerous fugitives are pursued with every lead exhausted because the Marshals Service Fugitive task force will apply every skill, technique and resource to keep innocent citizens and especially children from having to be a victim of a sex offender predator.”

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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