Nebraska fugitive on run since 1985 arrested trying to escape by plane from Florida property, U.S. Attorney alleges

OCALA, Fla. (TCD) — A 72-year-old Florida man arrested on December 2 on suspicion of passport fraud is suspected of being a “drug kingpin” indicted in Nebraska in 1985 for conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Florida resident Howard D. Farley Jr. is accused of submitting a passport application in February using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of an infant who died in 1955.

A federal complaint identified Farley as “John Doe,” but a subsequent fingerprint comparison following his arrest confirmed Farley’s identity. Farley has been wanted in Nebraska since 1985, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Middle District of Florida Office. He was arrested at his home in Weirsdale, Fla.

Farley and 73 other individuals were indicted in 1985 by a federal grand jury for narcotics conspiracy. Farley is suspected of being the “drug kingpin” of the Southern Line, a railroad line used by drug dealers to distribute narcotics throughout the United States, according to officials. Farley was the only one of the 74 indicted who was not apprehended.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges Farley assumed the identity of the dead infant in 1985 and remained a fugitive until this month.

Farley was trying to board his private airplane at the hangar on his property when he was caught, according to authorities. Farley had reportedly been using a pilot’s license in the name of the dead infant.

Farley faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the passport fraud charge.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports Farley lived in Love’s Landing, a quiet gated community in southeast Marion County where the homes all have airplane hangars.