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Press Release

Fugitive For Nearly Three Decades Arrested In Alabama Applying For Social Security Number

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM -- A 28-year fugitive from Arizona soon will be returned to the Grand Canyon State following his arrest this month in Alabama, where he applied for a Social Security card under an assumed identity.

U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Caul, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Craig Caldwell and U.S. Marshal Chester M. Keely announced the arrest and extradition of STANLEY SHANE SELF, 74. Self has been a fugitive from Arizona since 1986 when a state court jury in La Paz County, Ariz., convicted him on three felony counts of child molestation in 1982.

"This man skirted justice for many years, but he did not escape it," Vance said. "Thanks to an alert Social Security employee in Albertville and swift investigation by Social Security OIG and Secret Service agents, Self will soon face the punishment for his crimes committed more than 30 years ago in Arizona."

"The Office of the Inspector General has no higher priority than to protect the integrity of the Social Security programs, in this case the issuance of a Social Security Number," Caul said. "The Social Security employees who identified the potential fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Secret Service and the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force are to be commended for taking a serious felon off the street."

Self had been living for years under the stolen identity of Terry Harlan Martell, a Utah resident who died in 1987, according to court records. Self presented a Rhode Island birth certificate and an Oklahoma driver's license in Martell's name when he applied for a Social Security number in Albertville on Jan. 5, according to an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint charging him with making a false statement to a federal agency. Special agents with the Social Security Administration's OIG arrested Self on the complaint Feb. 3.

A federal magistrate judge in the Northern District of Alabama on Wednesday granted the government's motion to dismiss the false statement charges against Self so that he can be returned to Arizona. The government's motion said Self is being held on an Arizona warrant resulting from his 1986 convictions and that the La Paz County Sheriff's Office has arranged to transport Self to Arizona.

According to the affidavit filed in federal court in Alabama, a clerk in the Albertville SSA office searched agency databases for Terry Harlan Martell when Self applied for a Social Security number in that name. The data searches showed a Social Security number had been issued to Martell in 1963, and that Martell died in February 1987, according to the affidavit. Further investigation confirmed that the Rhode Island Department of Public Health issued a copy of Martell's birth certificate in March 1987, and that Oklahoma first issued a driver's license to Self, as Martell, in 1995.

Self was living in Hollywood, Ala., in Jackson County, when he was arrested. He previously had lived in the Birmingham area, with addresses listed in Vestavia Hills and Mulga.

SSA-OIG investigated the case, with assistance from the Secret Service and U.S. Marshals.


Updated March 19, 2015