Portland, ME – The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Maine Violent Offender Task Force (MVOTF), announces the arrest of Michael J. Bernard, 26, of Auburn, ME. Bernard was being sought by Michigan authorities for sex crimes involving a victim under the age of 13.
The United States Marshals Service, Eastern District of Michigan Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team (DFAT) requested the assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service Maine Violent Offender Task Force in locating and apprehending Bernard. Bernard was wanted by the 12th District Court in Jackson County, Michigan for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 1st Degree-person under 13.
According to investigators, Bernard was alleged to have met the victim through an internet site and began an online relationship that lasted over several months. Bernard is further alleged to have traveled to Michigan from Maine to meet the victim and engaged in sexual activity, before returning back to Maine.
Maine Violent Offender Task Force investigators developed information on Bernard’s whereabouts, which led authorities to a docking port in Harpswell, ME. Task Force personnel were able to apprehend Bernard as he departed a lobster boat this afternoon without incident. Bernard is charged as a Fugitive from Justice and will be arraigned in Maine pending his extradition back to Michigan to answer to the original charge.
The U.S. Marshals Service Maine Violent Offender Task Force was assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Michigan Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team, Coast Guard Investigative Services, Lewiston Police Department, and Maine Marine Patrol.
The U.S. Marshals Service Maine Violent Offender Task Force is comprised of members of the U.S Marshals Service, Maine State Police, Maine Department of Corrections, Biddeford Police Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.