On the run from the authorities? Need some cash? Topeka calls you!
Kansas' seat of government may not be a cosmopolitan vacation destination, but it's a fine place to hide for about a decade. That's what convicted child molester Jose Juan Sandoval discovered after he fled El Paso in 1999.
Sandoval, 41, was arrested in Topeka this week, where he had been living under the name of his wife's first husband. He was collecting state benefits in that man's name.
Following his 1999 conviction on two counts of indecency with a child,
Sandoval disappeared. A warrant for his arrest was
issued in September 2000, and he was added to the list of Texas'
most-wanted sex offenders last year.
How'd he get caught? Not because anyone in Kansas recognized him.
After Sandoval reportedly was
spotted back in El Paso this year, a Texas Department of Public Safety
analyst tracked him to Topeka. In on this week's bust was a dog pile that
included the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals
Service, the Topeka Police Department and the Kansas Department of
Corrections. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also helped track
Sandoval, who is an illegal immigrant. The El Paso Sheriff's Office plans to seek extradition.