Local News

N.C. fugitive caught in Philippines

Posted July 17, 2009 1:13 p.m. EDT

— Earlier this month, Philippine authorities arrested a Nash County man who authorities say has been involved in drug trafficking in North Carolina since the 1980s.

Nash and Bladen county sheriff's deputies arrested James Ricky Perry, 50, in November 2004 on charges of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilos of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Authorities said he was part of an organization that had trafficked cocaine in eastern North Carolina since 2001.

Perry failed to show up in court and had been on the run since, using different aliases. He was featured on "America's Most Wanted" and "NC Wanted," both of which air on WRAL's sister station Fox50.

In June, U.S. marshals learned that Perry had obtained a passport under a different identity and traveled to the Philippines. A U.S. court in California issued a warrant for his arrest for lying to obtain and use a U.S. passport.

The State Department's Diplomatic Security Service learned he was temporarily in Manila and had a permanent address in Calatagan – about 200 miles away.

Agents with DSS, the Philippine National Bureau of Invesitgation and the Philippine National Police arrested Perry at his home July 1.

Perry was surprised that he was caught in the rural town and protested his innocence, saying he wasn't James Rick Perry, according to DSS agents.

“Diplomatic Security’s regional security office in Manila maintains an excellent working relationship with local law enforcement personnel, thus enabling Perry’s capture,” said Edgar Moreno, the DSS bureau's assistant director for domestic operations.

“It’s this type of close, worldwide law enforcement liaison capability that gives Diplomatic Security unparalleled ability to locate pursue, and apprehend fugitives.”

DSS and U.S. Marshals Service expect to extradite Perry back to the United States by Wednesday.

According to N.C. authorities, Perry began a two-year sentence for drug possession in 1985. In May 1995, Drug Enforcement Agency officers arrested Perry on federal drug charges. He was found guilty and served five years in federal prison.