Federal and state authorities in Wyoming arrested on Monday a fugitive out of Florida suspected of sex crimes whom they believe faked his own death earlier in the year.
A news release from Park County, Wyo., Sheriff Scott Steward said that his office, U.S. Coast Guard investigators and U.S. marshals from Colorado, Montana and Wyoming arrested David Leon Lashley, 50, on Monday near the Montana-Wyoming state line in northern Park County.
He was arrested on a Florida warrant accusing him of failing to appear at a March court appearance.
The original warrant, issued in February from the Gainesville area, accuses Lashley of obscene communications, use of a computer to solicit a parent's help in securing children for illicit acts, public-order crimes, traveling to meet after use of a communcations device, attempted sexual assault and sexual battery of a victim under 12 years of age.
It asked that he be held on a $165,000 bond.
He also could face federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and being a fugitive in possession of a firearm after authorities seized a number of weapons during the arrest, Steward said.
Lashley had been living in the Clark, Wyo., area under the name Wesley Byrd.
"Lashley is also a suspect and wanted by the U.S. Coast Guard in connection with the arson of a houseboat in Florida in which Lashley faked his own death," Steward said in the press release.
Lashley later assumed the identity of Byrd and moved to the Clark area where he was apprehended on Monday without incident, according to the release.
He remains in custody at the Park County jail, awaiting extradition to Florida.
According to the Lake City Reporter newspaper in Florida, authorities arrested Lashley in February 2012 as part of an Internet sex sting that netted 20 other arrests.
Lashley responded to an online ad from a detective posing as a parent "looking for someone to educate her fictitious 10-year-old daughter in sexual matters," according to the Reporter article.
Authorities arrested him when he arrived at a designated meeting spot. He told them that he thought he was meeting to hook up with the mother, the Florida paper reported.