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Fugitive living under false ID arrested in Florida after 35 years

Howard D. Farley Jr., 72, faces several charges

Howard Farley
Howard Farley

OCALA, Fla. – A man who fled a drug conspiracy charge in Nebraska 35 years ago has been arrested in Florida, where he was living under a false identity, authorities said.

Howard D. Farley Jr., 72, was arrested Wednesday at his Florida home, according to court records. He faces a passport charge in Ocala federal court and up to 10 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint, Farley applied for a passport in February using the name, birth date and Social Security number of a person who had died as an infant in 1955.

In 1985, Farley and 73 others were indicted by a federal grand jury in Nebraska. Prosecutors identified Farley as the “drug kingpin” of the Southern Line, a railroad line that drug dealers used to move narcotics throughout the U.S. Records show that Farley was the only defendant not apprehended in the case.

Fingerprints confirmed Farley's identity after his arrest this week, officials said.

Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Farley.