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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 17, 2019

U.S. Department Of State, Diplomatic Security Service, San Juan Resident Office Arrests On Passport Fraud Charges An Individual Wanted For Capital Murder In The State Of Alabama

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –United States Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin authorized a criminal complaint against an individual purporting to be Stephen Williamson Varner, charging him with willfully and knowingly making false statements in a U.S. Passport Renewal Application.

According to the criminal complaint, on December 7, 2018, this same individual executed in San Juan a U.S. Passport Renewal Application under the Stephen Williamson Varner identity. Due to inconsistencies and fraud indicators in the passport renewal form, including a finding of a death record for a Stephen Williamson Varner, born and deceased at the early age of 22 months in the State of Alabama; the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs referred it on December 31st, 2018 to the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) for investigation. During the course of the investigation conducted by DSS, with the collaboration of the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, agents confirmed that the individual purporting to be Stephen Williamson Varner was in fact David Anthony Pike, a fugitive wanted since 1985 in Chambers County, State of Alabama, on capital murder charges (a death penalty eligible offense).

“The Diplomatic Security Service not only has a statutory mandate to investigate passport and visa fraud cases, but is also firmly committed to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to bring fugitives to justice,” said Norman Ramirez-Seda, Resident Agent in Charge of the DSS office in San Juan. “In this case, an individual evading the authorities in Chambers County for over thirty years, moved to Puerto Rico where he committed fraudulent activities against multiple government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Postal Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. My office is already working with the U.S. Marshals Service and Chambers County authorities to have David Anthony Pike eventually removed to the State of Alabama, where he will need to respond to the capital murder charges pressed against him in 1985. I thank our special agents and investigative specialists, as well as the agents and inspectors with our sister federal law enforcement organizations who completed, with exceptional professionalism and dedication, this case in sixteen days.”  

“The teamwork between DSS and the federal law enforcement agencies which collaborated in this investigation, led to the arrest of this dangerous fugitive. We commend the work and dedication of all the agents who turned this passport fraud investigation into the capture of someone who had been running from justice for over 30 years,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa E. Rodríguez-Vélez.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Violent Crime
Updated January 18, 2019