Regional
3:04 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

Federal Fugitive Captured In Las Cruces

Las Cruces – Acting U.S. Marshal Martin J. Pane announced today that the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) arrested fugitive Joseph P. Donahue in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

On January 5, 2011, the U.S. District Court in Scranton issued an arrest warrant for Donahue, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, after he failed to report the previous day to the Federal Correctional Institution at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, to begin serving his 121-month federal prison sentence.

Donahue was sentenced on December 7, 2010, following his conviction earlier in 2010 on bank fraud, money laundering, false statement, and credit card fraud charges. As part of the sentencing order, Donahue was ordered to report to the designated federal prison on January 4, 2010. His request for release pending the appeal of his conviction was denied by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on December 22, 2010.

The arrest warrant issued on January 5, 2011 charged Donahue with Failure to Surrender for Service of Sentence.

The U.S. Marshals Service made the apprehension of this fugitive a top priority. Members of the Marshals Fugitive Task Force including, personnel from the Lackawanna County Sheriff's Office and the Pennsylvania State Police assisted in the investigation. U.S. Marshals were also assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigations by U.S. Marshals were conducted up and down the east coast of the United States, as well as in the southeast and southwest United States.

On January 20, U.S. Marshals in Scranton provided an investigative lead to their counterparts in New Mexico. As a result, at approximately 3:00 pm (EST), U.S. Marshals determined Donahue had rented a room at the University Plaza Suites Hotel, located in the 300 block of University Avenue in Las Cruces. Shortly thereafter, U.S. Marshals positively identified Donahue as he attempted to enter a vehicle in the hotel parking lot. Donahue was taken into custody without incident. He did not resist, and made no statements to the arresting U.S. Marshals. Officers from the New Mexico State University Police Department provided assistance to U.S. Marshals.

Donahue, 56 years of age, will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of New Mexico. He will be arraigned in federal court in Las Cruces on the Failure to Surrender for Service of Sentence warrant, with a view toward being returned in custody to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Upon his return to the Scranton area, Donahue will face federal prosecution on the charge resulting from his flight.

Acting U.S. Marshal Marty Pane stated, "Donahue being on the run has been a nightmare for his victims. I am comforted by the notion that they can rest a little easier knowing that this convicted felon and former fugitive won't hurt anyone else for a long while. Justice has been served."

Over two decades ago, Donahue was involved in the Frederick "Rik" Luytjes smuggling ring, which at the time was described as the largest cocaine conspiracy in the United States. In 1988, Donahue was convicted in U.S. District Court in Scranton on charges of Money Laundering. He was ultimately sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov