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U.S. fugitive referred to as ‘Fat Leonard’ apprehended in Venezuela after weeks away from home

A military contractor referred to as Fat Leonard,” who take off his ankle bracelet and fled after he pleaded guilty in a significant Navy corruption scandal, was apprehended in Venezuela, authorities said Wednesday.

Leonard Glenn Francis, who was simply on house arrest in NORTH PARK and weeks from sentencing, removed his GPS tracker Sept. 4, based on the U.S. Marshals Service. Francis had pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribing Navy officials in a $35 million scandal.

Francis was captured by Venezuelan authorities, who was simply made aware he was away from home by Interpol, as he was attempting to board a plane bound for a different country, a marshals spokesperson said.

Carlos Garate Rondon, director general of Interpol Venezuela, said in a statement that Francis had entered the united states from Mexico with a stopover in Cuba. His final destination was Russia, Rondon said.

He was apprehended at Simn Bolvar AIRPORT TERMINAL and will stay in Venezuelan custody while U.S. marshals along with other federal authorities workout information on his extradition to the U.S.

Francis was arrested in 2013. He pleaded guilty to offering $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers, who in trade shared classified information with him and redirected military vessels to ports that might be good for his Singapore-based ship servicing company.

Prosecutors say Francis and his firm overcharged the U.S. military a lot more than $35 million.

He previously been under house arrest since at the very least 2018.

Before he disappeared, U.S. Pretrial Services, the federal agency responsible for monitoring his home confinement, got an alert that his GPS ankle monitor had been tampered with. Pretrial Services notified the Marshals Service concerning the alert, the agency said.

Members of the NORTH PARK Fugitive Task Force visited Francis residence and, once they announced themselves, went into his home via an unlocked door, the Marshals Service said. Officers were not able to get Francis, however they found his GPS ankle monitor, which have been take off, the marshals said.

Francis neighbors told marshals that several U-Haul trucks have been in and out of our home all week, said Omar Castillo, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal, The NORTH PARK Union Tribune reported.

It appeared clear that Francis have been planning his escape for quite a while, Castillo said.

Antonio Planas

Antonio Planas is really a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

Chantal Da Silva

Chantal Da Silva is really a breaking news editor for NBC News Digital located in London.

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