A Jamaican man who fled from authorities five years ago after Prince George’s County police intercepted 20 pounds of marijuana has been captured thanks to a tip from a reader of The Washington Examiner.
Garfield Mullings, 35, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in College Park on Tuesday.
Mullings was not happy to have been profiled in The Examiner’s “Most Wanted” feature, and said that he received several calls from friends that saw him in the paper, according to Inspector Matt Burke.
“Unfortunately for Mullings, the task force got only one call — but it was the only one we needed, Burke said. “The Examiner readers come through again.”
Mullings is the 31st person apprehended thanks to tips from alert readers of the newspaper. Earlier this month, a rider picked up a copy of The Examiner on a Metrobus and read a story about a teenager wanted for first-degree murder. The reader later saw the suspect and called authorities.
In Mullings’ case, the tipster provided just enough information to help marshals figure out the fugitive’s location. The tipster said that Mullings had recently been arrested in D.C. in a separate case — and also charged with possession of 20 pounds of marijuana — but under a different name, Burke said.
Because Mullings had never been arrested in the 2005 case and had no previous arrests, there were no fingerprints on file to link the man arrested in D.C. to Mullings. The tipster did not know what name Mullings allegedly used when he was arrested in D.C.
With the information provided by the tipster, authorities combed through records in the D.C. criminal system and found an arrest that matched Mullings, Burke said.
Investigators were able to determine the identity Mullings used during that arrest and found him at a College Park address, where he was arrested before he could take off again.
Mullings is a Jamaican citizen, has been denied U.S. citizenship, and is in the United States illegally, authorities said.