FREMONT -- A fugitive wanted for 14 years in connection with several counts of sexual assault against children was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles, authorities said.
Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's fugitive task force took Frank Joseph Montenegro, 52, of Los Angeles into custody outside a community home in the city's Brooklyn Heights area after a foot chase and struggle that left some task force members with superficial injuries Wednesday morning.
An August 2001 federal criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in San Francisco said the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Montenegro a month earlier with multiple counts of sodomy of a child under 14, oral copulation and continued sexual abuse of a minor.
Frank Joseph Montenegro, wanted by the FBI and Fremont police for alleged sexual abuse of two Fremont elementary school students while working as a teacher, was captured Wednesday in Los Angeles by FBI fugitive task force members. Those charges came following an investigation by Fremont Police detectives. Soon after, investigators found Montenegro, who had been working as an elementary school teacher, had fled to Mexico, and the FBI was asked to help find him.
Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said investigators later on found Montenegro had managed to return to the United States and live under an alias and without a driver's license.
Officials were not naming the school where Montenegro worked and where the assaults against two 10-year-old male students took place, Bosques said.
The FBI credited Wednesday's capture to a tip received by Los Angeles police that said Montenegro had been living in the area for several years.
He was in state custody Wednesday evening and awaiting transfer to Alameda County for arraignment on and prosecution of state charges. Authorities expect the U.S. government to drop a federal warrant charging Montenegro with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Task force members come from the FBI, LAPD, and state department of corrections' parole division. Agents with the FBI's San Francisco office and Fremont police carried out the fugitive investigation.
"Our department was very well aware of this guy, knew that he had fled," Bosques said Wednesday of the news of the re-capture.
"It's a good ending, it's great to have found him after this time. That someone recognized him and came forward is great for the victims."