FLORENCE, SC (WCSC) - The U.S. Marshals Service says a 59-year-old man who walked out of a South Carolina federal prison nearly 20 years ago has been arrested.
Authorities arrested Luis Alfonso Escobar in Houston on Tuesday. Investigators say Escobar had walked away from the Federal Correctional Institute, a minimum camp facility, in Estill, SC in July 1994. He was originally sentenced to serve 20 years for cocaine and drug charges.
Escobar's capture started after Operation Intercept, the U.S. Marshals led fugitive task force in South Carolina, developed information that Escobar was hiding out in his South American homeland of Columbia.
U.S. Marshals and Customs and Border Patrol further learned that Escobar had boarded an inbound flight from Bogata, Columbia to Mexico City.
Authorities say U.S. Marshals in Mexico City coordinated with Mexican Immigration to detain Escobar. Escobar was denied entry into Mexico because of his fugitive status in the United States and was ordered to be expelled back to Bogota, Columbia via Houston, Tx. by Mexican immigration.
Escobar was arrested by U.S. Marshals upon his arrival in Houston.
Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for South Carolina, stated, "Mr. Escobar's life on the run was ended by the extensive efforts of international cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies. He will now serve the remainder of his 20 year sentence and face an escape charge."
Operation Intercept, in the Charleston area, consists of members of the U.S. Marshals, Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, Charleston County Sheriff's Office, North Charleston Police Department and Charleston City Police Department.