A Putnam County man, who federal investigators say fled to South America to avoid standing trial for child molesting, was sentenced this week to serve two years in prison for passport fraud.
United States Attorney Susan W. Brooks announced Wednesday that Thomas Jerry Hudson, 74, Greencastle, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to making false statements in an application for a passport.
Hudson was apprehended last October near the Venezuelan town of Merida, according to information from the Diplomatic Security Service. Extensive coordination between the DSS regional security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, and his local police counterparts led to Hudson's capture.
In addition to two years in prison, U.S. District Judge Sarah Barker, on Wednesday, ordered Hudson to undergo two years of supervised release at the end of his prison term.
Federal officials said Hudson fled Putnam County and apparently falsely obtained a passport after his initial court appearance for child molestation in September 2004.
Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said Hudson had pleaded not guilty in the child molestation case and was scheduled for a pre-trial conference when he disappeared.
Bookwalter said now that Hudson has been sentenced in the federal passport fraud case, he will seek to have Hudson brought back to Putnam County to face the molestation charges.
"My understanding is that once they're finished with his case, he'll be brought back here to stand trial for the molestation charges," Bookwalter said.