CLARKSBURG, W. Va. – A fugitive wanted by the U.S. Marshals after escaping from the Bureau of Prisons facility in Morgantown in 2013 has been returned to the United States.
Mexican authorities arrested Eugene Cobbs, 43, without incident Monday.
After Cobbs escaped from FCI Morgantown April 10, 2013, authorities say he caught a bus to Philadelphia. In September 2013, U.S. Marshals discovered Cobbs had crossed the border into Mexico.
Cobbs used false names and lived in multiple locations to remain elusive. Upon his arrest, he initially provided a fictitious name, but was later positively identified and deported by Mexican authorities.
Once back in the states, U.S. Marshals arrested Cobbs at Los Angeles International Airport upon his arrival Monday. He is currently being held without bond awaiting his interstate extradition back to West Virginia.
Cobbs was convicted in 2010 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and piloting an aircraft without a license. He was piloting the plane in 2004 when he crashed near the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport and immediately fled the scene. Authorities investigating the crash discovered 525 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $24 million. This was the largest amount of narcotics ever located in West Virginia at the time.
“As soon as I heard the name of the escapee, I knew this might be a tough case,” U.S. Marshall Terry Moore, the lead investigator of the case said. “The number of hours our agency put into this case was tremendous, and I am excited to see it come to an end. Cobbs is a sophisticated fugitive, who has extensive ties to Mexico. Cases like this one is what a Deputy U.S. Marshal lives for: a challenge, a good hunt and a great ending. Cobbs’ current location is right where he should be, in a jail cell.”
Cobbs allegedly did not act alone in his escape. Jamie Angel Clayton, 39, was indicted for aiding the escape, was arrested in May 2013 in New York and remains on bond while the criminal case is pending.
This is not the first time Cobbs has fled to Mexico to avoid capture.
He fled to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he lived under a false identity in 2004 after he was not arrested immediately following his indictment, avoiding arrest for four years before he was caught in 2008. That time, Cobbs fled to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he lived under a false identity. After he was returned to the U.S. to face his charges, he was sentenced in May 2010 to serve more than 12 years in prison.
According to a press release, the U.S. Marshals arrested more than 110,000 fugitives in 2013. It is a primary goal of the agency to track down and arrest dangerous and violent fugitives.