MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) - Early Tuesday morning, members of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF) and U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested fugitive Dean Birdsall, age 66, in a suburb of Rochester, New York.
Birdsall was wanted by the Richland County Sheriff's Office since March 2008 for failure to register as a sex offender and also by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority for parole violation since December 2007. His original sex crime conviction involved children under the age of 5. Birdsall is originally from Lakewood, Ohio and also lived in Bath, Ohio where he was ultimately convicted of his sex crime in the early 1990's. In 2007, Birdsall was released on parole and ordered to report to a halfway house in Mansfield to serve the remainder of his sentence and he failed to report to the halfway house which resulted in warrants for his arrest.
The NOVFTF was referred the fugitive investigation on Birdsall in October 2009. Investigators immediately dug into the case and determined that he was no longer in the area. Birdsall was profiled on digital billboards throughout Northern Ohio and also on America's Most Wanted website in an effort to obtain tips on his location. In May 2010, Birdsall was added to the NOVFTF's Most Wanted "Dangerous Dozen" and publicized further through the media. Through all of this, there were still no solid leads into the location of Birdsall.
That all changed over the last few days. The NOVFTF received information from a tipster that recognized Birdsall from the America's Most Wanted website. Information received was that he was living in the area of Rochester, New York under the alias Fred Bartholomew. The NOVFTF immediately began working with the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force in Rochester. Members of the NOVFTF traveled to Rochester yesterday to work the investigation jointly. At approximately 7:00 a.m., this morning, Birdsall was apprehended while riding a bicycle in a parking lot in Powder Mill Park outside Rochester, New York. He admitted his true identity at the time of his arrest. At this time, the U.S. Marshals Service is conducting further investigation into Birdsall's activities over the last few years as a fugitive. He will eventually be transported back to Ohio to face his charges.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, "This was an elusive and dangerous sexual offender that posed a serious threat while on the run. We are relieved to have him in custody now and I am proud of the work done by all the Deputy U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers on this investigation."
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at: 1-866-4-WANTED. Callers may remain anonymous.