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Hillsborough sex offender fugitive arrested in Philadelphia

TAMPA — An anonymous tip led police to a local fugitive wanted for violating probation on a lewd and lascivious battery charge on a child.

On Jan. 1, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay got a tip that Jose Ramon Fernandez, a registered sex offender in Florida and certified Latin Kings gang member, was possibly in Philadelphia.

Fernandez has 35 prior arrests in Florida, New York and Georgia on charges including sexual battery, drug possession, assault, burglary, forgery, and domestic violence, police said.

Crime Stopper coordinator Deputy Lisa Haber sought assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service to follow up, and an investigation began.

On Feb. 2, deputies from the Eastern Pennsylvania Violent Crimes Fugitive Task Force interviewed Fernandez's sister, who confirmed that he was staying somewhere in Philadelphia but that she didn't know exactly where.

On Feb. 12, deputies and task force officers went to 4048 G St. in Philadelphia, an auto body shop where deputies believed Fernandez was working.

When they arrived, they found Fernandez and arrested him. He faces federal charges of violating the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and is being held without bail at a federal detention center in Philadelphia.

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Hillsborough sex offender fugitive arrested in Philadelphia 02/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010 11:44am]
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