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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 12, 2018

Bryan Konig, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Eastern District of North Carolina (919) 856-4153;

U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699
Fugitive Couple Arrested After 19 Years On The Run

Raleigh, NC – After almost 19 years on the run, Robert Edward Freer II, 61, and his wife Wendy Dehaven Freer, 52, were arrested Thursday, October 4, by U.S. Marshals Service personnel and their local government counterparts in San Pedrito, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Robert and Wendy Freer were indicted together in the Eastern District of North Carolina on November 8, 1999, for Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Money Laundering, but quickly fled the area when they learned of the pending federal charges. The charges were the culmination of an extensive investigation conducted by member agencies of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the next 19 years, Marshals Service investigators worked tirelessly with their law enforcement partners, both domestically and internationally, to locate the Freers.

In mid-July, Deputy U.S. Marshals Dan Tubman and Bryan Konig of the Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force finally got a break in the case when information was developed that indicated the Freers were living on the Baja peninsula of Mexico under different names. The Marshals Service Foreign Field Office in Mexico City was then contacted and began working closely with their local contacts to confirm this information and develop an arrest plan. On October 4, the Freers long run from justice finally came to an end in the quiet vacation rental resort they owned and operated on San Pedrito Beach. The Freers were deported from Mexico and flown to Los Angeles, where they will begin the process of returning to North Carolina.

The investigation to locate Robert and Wendy Freer combined the resources and talents of numerous divisions within the Marshals Service, U.S. Department of State, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“We are extremely pleased to bring these fugitives to justice,” said Robert D. Pettit, Acting U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina. “It was an amazing effort by everyone involved in the investigation.”

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina commented "I want to commend the hard-work, commitment and persistence of the United States Marshals Service. Their mission is to 'protect, defend and enforce the American Justice System'. And that mission does not wane simply because someone flees that system. The Freers are living examples of those who thought they could elude that system. The men and women of the Marshals Service showed them they were wrong and reaffirmed the principles of our criminal justice system by bringing these fugitives to justice. We now look forward to bringing this case before the Court here in the Eastern District of North Carolina."

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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