(posted April 23, 2:00 p.m.)- A tourist visiting Nicaragua provided the FBI with the tip that led to this week’s arrest and deportation of U.S. citizen and accused pedophile Eric Justin Toth, one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives.
An FBI source in Washington, D.C. told The Nicaragua Dispatch today that US authorities are currently evaluating the information provided from the tip to determine whether the unidentified tourist is now eligible to collect the $100,000 reward offered for Toth.
“A recent tip led law enforcement to Nicaragua, where Toth was living under an alias,” the FBI said today in its release. “Law enforcement was able to trace his recent movements and, through a recent purchase, locate him in Estelí, Nicaragua, where he was taken into custody.”
The FBI said Toth’s arrest was “the result of an exhaustive and well-coordinated investigation by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI Legal Attaché, and Special Agents of the Diplomatic Security Service assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Managua.”
The FBI also praised Nicaraguan Police for helping to collar the fugitive who, for nearly five years, “eluded law enforcement despite the work of dedicated agents, officers, and intelligence analysts who sought his capture,” according to Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.
“I would also like to thank our partners with the Nicaraguan National Police Commissioner’s Office, the Nicaraguan National Police Trafficking in Persons Unit, and the Nicaraguan Immigration Service for their crucial work in apprehending this fugitive,” Parlave said.
Toth made his first appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The former private school teacher is charged with the production and possession of child pornography and faces a minimum of 15 years in jail. Toth will remain in police custody until his trial starts on May 23.
“We did not waver in our search for Toth, and the investigation will continue to piece together his activities in Nicaragua and anywhere else he may have spent time since fleeing in 2008,” Parlave said. “Therefore, we ask anyone who believes they may have information about Eric Toth to please contact the FBI.”
She added, “As a result of the teamwork and cooperation of all involved, including the public, he will now be brought to justice for his crimes.”