US jury indicts 'Barefoot Bandit'
The 19-year-old 'Barefoot Bandit,' whose alleged two-year string of thefts from Washington state to the Caribbean prompted movie and book offers, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle.world Updated: Nov 11, 2010 11:11 IST
The 19-year-old 'Barefoot Bandit,' whose alleged two-year string of thefts from Washington state to the Caribbean prompted movie and book offers, was indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Seattle.
Colton Harris-Moore was indicted on five counts, including interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft and being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, the US Attorney's Office announced.
"The grand jury action today is an important step in holding Colton Harris-Moore accountable for his criminal conduct," said US Attorney Jenny A Durkan.
Harris-Moore faces up to 10 years in prison each on four of the counts. He remains in a federal detention center in Washington state and is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment November 18. A message left with Harris-Moore's attorney, John Henry Browne, was not immediately returned.
Harris-Moore, a self-taught pilot, is suspected in more than 80 crimes across nine states since authorities say he walked away from a halfway house in April 2008, many of them in Washington's bucolic islands. He grew up in Camano Island, a quiet rural community in the Puget Sound north of Seattle.
After a two-year run from the law, he was caught July 10 in the Bahamas, a week after authorities say he crash-landed an airplane stolen from an Indiana airport. Bahamian authorities launched an extensive manhunt for the teenager and arrested him as he tried to flee in a boat.
Harris-Moore was deported by the Bahamas to the US after pleading guilty to illegally entering the island nation east of Miami. The US embassy paid a $300 fine on his behalf. Harris-Moore's alleged hometown exploits garnered attention in Washington state. But his notoriety took off after his alleged daring escape to the Caribbean.
Executives from movie and television production companies inquired about his story, prompting his mother - Pam Kohler - to hire a well-known entertainment lawyer to help her field unsolicited offers. A Harris-Moore fan club on Facebook boasts more than 23,000 members.
Police dubbed Harris-Moore the "Barefoot Bandit" because investigators say they found footprints identified as his at several crime scenes.
The grand jury focused on four different incidents. In one, Harris-Moore is accused of stealing a Cessna from Idaho and flying it to Washington state in September 2009. He's also accused of stealing a boat from Washington and sailing it to Oregon in May of this year.
Prosecutors also say Harris-Moore stole a .32 caliber pistol in Canada and carried it to the United States.