British Fugitive Deported After Hiding in Mo. for 19 Years
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A fugitive from England, who had been living illegally in Missouri under an assumed name for 19 years, was deported Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Edward John Maher, aka Michael Maher, 56, was arrested by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Feb. 8 at his residence in Ozark, Mo. Maher, a British national, was arrested on administrative immigration violations. Maher is a suspect in an armored car robbery in England and was arrested based upon information provided by the FBI.
Maher, dubbed “Fast Eddie” by international media, was escorted on a commercial flight to his home country by ERO officers, and turned over to British authorities July 10.
“We will not allow criminal fugitives to use the United States as a safe haven from justice,” said Ricardo Wong, ERO Chicago field office director. “To help protect the public, ICE works daily with our international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and remove dangerous individuals.”
Maher was discovered by the Ozark Police Department, which received information in February regarding a fugitive from England who allegedly stole a large amount of cash while working as a security guard. The theft took place Jan. 22, 1993 in Essex, England. Maher allegedly drove away from the scene in an armored van, leaving his partner behind. When the van was recovered, one million pounds (about $1.5 million US) in sacks of money were missing, including notes and coins.
Ozark police officers and HSI special agents arrested Maher Feb. 8. He told federal agents that he began working in the United States in 1998 and has been using his brother’s identity, Michael Maher, who lives in England.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed about 455 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. To identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States, ERO works with ICE’s Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices located in the United States, and Interpol.