The spiral into legal disgrace started several years ago for Tom Longo. In August 2004, after he was released from federal prison for drug conspiracy, he tried to molest a neighbor's teenage daughter with a date rape drug in Solon.
Federal investigators searched Longo's home on Cannon Road and found a machine gun, 3 silencers and 15 other weapons. But before he went on trial, Longo disappeared. Over the next few months, federal agents tracked him from Florida to Mexico, and back to Cleveland.
Last April, Longo was spotted at the Cleveland Indian's home opener. David Siler, deputy U.S. Marshal, said "it is almost as if it's a game for him".
But that game of hide and seek ended because of a pile of shredded documents. In a painstaking process, U.S. Marshal's were able to piece together a Yahoo e-mail that tipped them off to Longo's hideout.
Peter Elliott, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District, said that hours of hard work paid off. According to Elliott, "we were able to put the document together piece by piece. That helped us track this fugutive who has been on the run for over a year to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico."
Longo's neighbors in Solon were surprised by the news of his arrest in Mexico, said Kevin Gittner, "I thought he was long gone and that they'll probably never find him".
Kevin's mother, Lisa Gittner said she was relieved. "I'm glad that he's not here. I mean they are selling their house and this is good".
Peter Elliott is proud of his team of fugitive hunters. "Mr. Longo is an example of an individual who thinks they are smarter than the law and that they can run. That was a big mistake."
After an arraignment in Los Angeles, the U.S. Marshal's office plans to have Thomas Longo back to Cleveland next week.