A former teacher who took Osama bin Laden’s place on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list over his alleged links to child pornography has been arrested in Nicaragua.
Police in the Central American nation say they handed suspected paedophile Eric Justin Toth over to US officials for extradition, after he was arrested in Estelí - a city 90 miles north of the capital Managua.
Toth, a former third grade schoolteacher in Washington DC, is said to have been caught with a fake US passport, a fake driving licence and fake bank and debit cards, with Estelí’s police chief saying Aminta Granera calling him “an expert” in evading capture.
The 31-year-old taught at a private school in the US capital and had also acted as camp counsellor. He first attracted the attention of authorities when, in June 2008, a school-owned camera in his possession was found to contain images of child pornography.
He is also believed to have produced child pornography in Maryland, according to the FBI website and eventually went on the run when the District of Columbia and Maryland issued arrest warrants.
The FBI said: “Toth has often been described as a computer 'expert' and has demonstrated above-average knowledge regarding computers, the use of the Internet, and security awareness”.
It described Toth, who was added to the Most Wanted list in April 2012, as able to “integrate easily into socio-economic groups”.
A US federal law enforcement source said Toth had last been seen in 2009 at an Arizona homeless shelter where he had briefly lived and worked as a volunteer. The shelter alerted authorities and Toth vanished, the source said.
Toth attended Cornell University for a year and then transferred to Purdue University, where he graduated with an education degree, the FBI said.