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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fugitive Remains in Federal Custody on Federal Charge Following Arrest by DSS and USMS

FORT WORTH, Texas — A fugitive wanted for various offenses, including most recently, making a false statement on a passport application, remains in federal custody following a detention hearing held yesterday in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Avniel Awan Anthony, 40, a U.S. citizen and former resident of Arlington, Texas, was taken into custody on April 14, 2016, by the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).  Anthony remains in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint filed last month in the Northern District of Texas that charges him with willfully and knowingly making a false statement in a passport application.

The criminal complaint alleges that in October 2013, Anthony willfully and knowingly made a false statement in an application for a passport, when he knowingly falsely stated his name was “Dominic Dewayne Wilson” on the passport application he submitted at the U.S. Post Office located on E. Bardin Road in Arlington.

According to information contained in the complaint’s affidavit, as well as information presented at yesterday’s hearing, Anthony was a DSS fugitive wanted for passport fraud, identity theft, evading the police, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Anthony changed his identity and fled to Playa de Carmen, Mexico, where he remained a fugitive until DSS located him in March 2016.

DSS and the USMS coordinated with the Playa de Carmen Tourist Police and Mexican immigration officials to locate, arrest, and return Anthony to the U.S. to face charges.  Yesterday, Judge Cureton found that Anthony was a flight risk and danger to the community and ordered that he remain in federal custody.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge.  The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.

The maximum statutory penalty, upon conviction, for willfully and knowingly making a false statement in a passport application is 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.   

The DSS is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State with agents located in more than 160 countries worldwide.  DSS and the USMS work together to locate and return U.S. fugitives from abroad.

Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Worley is in charge of the prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated April 21, 2016