Ex-Florida deputy arrested in Alaska after more than two decades on the lam

Story highlights

  • Joseph Keenan May, 60, is arrested in Alaska, where he lived for years as a fugitive
  • The former Florida sheriff's deputy has been wanted since 1991 for capital sexual battery in Bradenton
  • He allegedly lived under the identity of a stepbrother who died in the 1970s
Joseph Keenan May's quiet life on the lam in Alaska was unraveled after he used his late stepbrother's name to apply for a driver's license and unemployment benefits, authorities said.
May, a former sheriff's deputy wanted since 1991 for capital sexual battery in Bradenton, Florida, was arrested on identity theft charges early Friday at his home in Eagle River, Alaska.
"Sometimes Alaska draws people who want to run away from things," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bradley told CNN affiliate KTUU. "We find that there's an inordinate amount of fugitives here. It's unusual for somebody to be able to run so long, but eventually he got caught."
Authorities said May, 60, has been the subject of a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution since 1993.
For years, May was living under the identity of stepbrother Michael Camp, who died in his teens in the 1970s in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska said in a statement.
May is charged in an indictment with two counts of unlawful use of a Social Security number for allegedly using Camp's name and number to apply for an Alaska driver's license in 2009 and unemployment benefits in 2013, the statement said. He was also charged with aggravated identity theft.
The Social Security Administration notified federal authorities of the alleged identity theft, KTUU reported.
May faces up to 12 years for the federal charges in Alaska -- and potentially the death penalty in Florida if he is extradited, the U.S. Attorney's statement said.
A former road patrol deputy, May was arrested in 1990, accused of raping a 6-year-old girl in the 1970s, the Bradenton Herald reported. May fled before he could be tried.