Hawaii fugitive found in Mexico

Cynthia Jean Reed found in Mexico
Cynthia Jean Reed found in Mexico

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Cynthia Jean Reed, 50, has been found in Mexico and returned to Hawaii.

Reed appeared in U.S. Federal court in Hawaii today after being on the run since 2004.

Special agents from the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) completed a lengthy investigation in December when they helped locate Reed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Diplomatic Security Service's Honolulu Resident Office worked with DSS Special Agents in the Mexican cities of Tijuana, Hermosillo, and Mexico City, Mexico, to track Reed's travel to the Virgin Islands and the Mexican cities of Cancun and Mazatlan, and finally to the Mexican tourist resort city of Cabo San Lucas, where Mexican law enforcement authorities detained Reed on December 14 for immigration violations.

She was deported to the United States in the custody of the U.S. Marshals on December 15.

Reed appeared before United States Magistrate George C. Hanks in the Southern District of Houston on December 16 where she was charged with passport fraud. The U.S. Marshals returned Reed to Hawaii on January 15.

On December 15, a federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted Reed, 50, on the charge of knowingly and willfully using the identity of Christina Ann Ruehling to obtain a U.S. Passport.  According to a criminal complaint previously filed in federal court in Hawaii, in 2004 Reed made false statements in submitting an application for a U.S. Passport in Christina Ann Ruehling's identity in Lahaina, Maui, and used the illegally obtained passport while traveling in Florida, the Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

Reed also is wanted on Hawaii state charges ranging from forgery to assault on a police officer.

"The U.S. passport and visa are two of the most coveted travel documents in the world. There are American citizens and foreign nationals who fraudulently acquire passports and visas to engage in identity theft and other criminal activities. This case demonstrates Diplomatic Security's commitment to working with our worldwide law enforcement partners to investigate these crimes and help bring these criminals to justice no matter where in the world they may be," said Wesley A. Weller, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office of the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, which has responsibility for Hawaii and the Pacific territories to include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and American Samoa.

In addition to Special Agents from the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, the U. S. Marshals Service in Mexico City, Mexico; the United States Postal Inspection Service in Honolulu, Hawaii; and the United States Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General in Los Angeles, Calif., worked together on this case.

If convicted, Reed faces up to ten years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.  The charge against the defendant is only an allegation.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.