2 fugitives, hiding for 19 years, caught

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Two fugitives on the run for nearly 19 years were arrested last week and will return to North Carolina from Mexico to face drug charges, the U.S. Marshals Service announced Friday.

Robert Edward Freer II, 61, and his wife, Wendy Dehaven Freer, 52, were indicted in November 1999 on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering. But they fled the area before they could be arrested, authorities said.

In mid-July, Deputy U.S. Marshals Dan Tubman and Bryan Konig of the Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force learned the Freers were living on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula under different names, authorities said.

Authorities found the Freers on Oct. 4 in the vacation rental resort they owned and operated on San Pedrito Beach, authorities said. They were deported from Mexico and flown to Los Angeles to begin the process of returning to North Carolina.

The Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina collaborated to locate the Freers.

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