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Feds Charge Drug Kingpin who “Assumed Identity of Dead Infant”


Federal authorities have charged Howard D. Farley, Jr., 72, with passport fraud, but that may be only the beginning of his woes. They also believe that Farley is a drug kingpin who used the identity of a dead infant to hide in plain sight for years.

According to the complaint, Farley submitted a passport application with the name and social security number of an infant who died in 1955. That alone is a crime. Under federal law, supplying false information to the federal government is a form of fraud and forgery punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Farley’s Crimes Date Back to 1985 

In 1985, Farley was indicted alongside 73 others for narcotics conspiracy, drug trafficking, and more. Farley was believed to be the “kingpin” of the “Southern line”— a railroad used by drug traffickers to distribute narcotics all over the U.S. Records show that Farley was the only defendant who was never apprehended from that case. He apparently assumed the identity of a dead infant and has remained a fugitive for the past 35 years.

On December 2, Farley was arrested on the charges dating back to the 1985 complaint. When police found him, he was attempting to flee the area on a private plane in his personal hangar. In 1970, Farley was convicted of burglary in Nebraska. Police found a weapon inside his home. This may result in additional gun possession charges. Farley will also face charges related to being a fugitive along with charges related to the drug arrest in 1985.

Neighbors “Shocked” to Discover Farley a Fugitive 

Farley lived in Love’s Landing, a gated community where all the homes have hangars. In other words, he was doing really well. Before Farley was arrested, residents noticed a larger-than-usual number of vehicles coming into and out of their peaceful community. The news later divulged that their own neighbor ‘Tim’ was being arrested on charges related to fleeing law enforcement.

Neighbors described Farley and his wife as “nice people” and “easy to talk to”. Some expressed incredulity at the notion that Farley could have been responsible for this and questioned whether or not police had the right person. Farley’s wife did not appear to know about his criminal past.

The Federal Passport Fraud Statute 

Don’t lie on a passport application. It’s a $250,000 maximum fine and a ten-year maximum prison sentence. The federal government assumes that anyone committing passport fraud is either a criminal or an unlawful resident, perhaps even a terrorist. In this case, the fraud was related to narcotics which could mean that Farley will face 20 years, not 10.

Talk to a Tampa Federal Charges Attorney 

If you’ve been charged with a crime by the federal government, then your case will be heard in federal court, tried by federal prosecutors, and have evidence presented by the FBI and DEA. You need a lawyer who understands the federal court system and can work with you to successfully resolve your case. Call the Tampa criminal attorneys at the Matassini Law Firm today to learn more.




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