MIAMI – An Arizona fugitive wanted for sexual assault involving two minors in 2009 in Yavapai County was taken into custody at a Miami marina on Wednesday August 28, 2013 according to the Police in Miami-Dade, FL.
U.S. Marshal Spokesman Barry Golden said they got a hint that 29-year-old Robert Joseph Van Gundy and his wife Arielle Van Gundy were hiding out on a boat in Dinner Key Marina in Miami and they both were taken into custody at about 3 p.m. as they walked towards their 31-foot sailboat.
Van Gundy was wanted in Chino Valley, Ariz., where he faced sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual conduct with a minor charge. A warrant for his arrest was issued by Yavapai County Superior Court on 14th of August, 2013 after he didn’t appear in court. His bail was set at $500,000.
Golden said, “This is an individual who basically traveled 3000 miles all the way across the United States and now he’s here in Florida on a sail boat with a cache of weapons and ammunition, and he was trying to get out of Florida to flee to the Bahamas”. According to him, Gundy and his wife drove about 3,000 miles across the United States to South Florida, they booked a room and spend time at a Hialeah motel, and purchased a 31-foot split sailboat for $4,000 about a month ago which they kept at the marina.
The spokesman told that Gundy’s wife was taken into custody after a handgun was found in her purse. She was charged with having a concealed weapon in a dog purse without a permit for Florida. Jail records show that she was being held in Miami-Dade on $5,000 bond early Thursday.
Gundy and his wife are suspected to be members of an anti-government, anti-law enforcement group and authorities believed that they had guns and ammunition inside the boat. Ed Halley, supervisory special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that Federal agents searched the sailboat on Thursday and found the guns and ammo.
“We took extreme precaution,” said Golden. He also said that the couple is being held at a Miami-Dade jail and will be extradited to Arizona.
A few days ago, U.S. Marshals told the local law enforcement agents that the Van Gundy’s were in Miami. According to the authorities, U.S. Marshals, Miami police, and the Miami-Dade Sexual Predators and Offenders Unit conducted surveillance near the marina all day long on Wednesday until he arrived at the boat with his wife Arielle Van Gundy.
Van Gundy and his wife were living on the boat and were believed to be ready to leave the country when they were taken into custody, said spokesman. Other than the weapons, agents also found a stockpile of food on the sailboat.
Records show that Robert Van Gundy is accused of nearly twenty four counts of sexually abusing 2 male victims under the age of 18 between 2008 and 2009.
Robert Van Gundy will be transported back to Arizona to face his charges. Multiple dogs that were with the couple were taken by Miami-Dade Animal Services.
Extradition hearing of Gundy was scheduled for 13th of September, 2013.
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