Reader's tip leads to fugitive with murder rap

|
Crime,Scott McCabe
A District man wanted for violating his parole for a murder conviction was picked up by U.S. Marshals thanks to a tip from an alert reader of The Washington Examiner.

Marshals deputies found Ricardo "Ricky" Roberts hiding in a closet of a home in Northeast Washington on Tuesday.

"I guess he wasn't excited about going back to jail," said Matt Burke, of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Roberts becomes the 40th wanted person whose arrest is credited directly to readers of The Examiner.

Marshals deputies received a call from a person who recognized Roberts' photo on Thursday's Crime and Punishment page. The caller provided detailed information that led them to the 5300 block of Aimes Street NE, and deputies waited until Roberts popped out of one of the houses.

He ducked back into the home and deputies followed. He was taken from the closet without any further incident, Burke said.

"The call put us right on top of him," Burke said. "Keep it up Examiner readers."

Roberts, 53, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 1978 murder and armed robbery conviction in the District. He spent about 14 years behind bars and was placed on parole in the mid-1990s. Authorities say he has repeatedly gotten into trouble, and has had several re-arrests for drug charges and violating the terms of his parole.

Roberts became transient and has made it difficult for authorities to catch up with him, Burke said. Authorities last week said they wanted to bring in Roberts before anything more serious happens.

Since 2008, federal authorities have credited readers of The Washington Examiner with the capture of 40 fugitives, including murderers, kidnappers, child sex offenders, rapists and scam artists.

At least eight captured fugitives were wanted on a charge of or had previously been convicted of homicide.

Last month, readers called in with information that led to the arrest of man wanted in a 1997 cold case homicide and two gang members wanted in the slaying of a rival in Northwest Washington.

The Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, is composed of 30 federal, state and local agencies from Baltimore to Norfolk. The unit has captured more than 33,000 wanted fugitives since its creation in 2004.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment