Arizona sexual assault fugitive captured at Dinner Key Marina

 

gsolis@MiamiHerald.com

An Arizona fugitive wanted for sexual assault planned to sail to the Bahamas with his wife was arrested at a Miami marina Wednesday, officials said.

Robert Joseph Van Gundy and his wife Arielle Van Gundy were surprised and arrested about 3 p.m. as they walked toward their 31-foot sailboat at Dinner Key Marina, U.S. Marshal spokesman Barry Golden said.

Van Gundy was wanted in Chino Valley, Ariz., where he faced sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual conduct with a minor charges. Local authorities released a warrant for his arrest on Aug. 14, soon after Van Gundy failed to show up to his court date.

He and his wife drove 3,000 miles across the United States to South Florida, stayed at a Hialeah motel and bought a 31-foot split sailboat for $4,000 about a month ago which they kept at the marina, Golden said.

Authorities suspected the fugitive couple of being part of an anti-government, anti-law enforcement group and believed that they had guns and ammunition inside the boat.

“We took extreme precaution,” Golden said.

Local law enforcement agents were tipped off that the Van Gundy’s were in Miami by the U.S. Marshals few days ago.

U.S. Marshals, Miami police, and the Miami-Dade Sexual Predators and Offenders Unit conducted surveillance near the marina all day long, authorities said.

Arielle Van Gundy was arrested after authorities found a small handgun in her purse. She does not have a concealed weapons permit in Florida.

The couple is being held at a Miami-Dade jail and will be extradited to Arizona, Golden said.

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