A convicted cop killer and child molester who was on the U.S. Marshall’s top 15 Most Wanted fugitive list was taken into custody Tuesday after agents received a tip that he was living in Merced.
Paul Clouston, 74, had been on the U.S. Marshall’s list since Nov. 30, 2006. His arrest came about after a tipster recognized his picture on the “America’s Most Wanted” Web site. Clouston had been profiled on the popular television show in 2007.
The tipster told agents that Clouston was staying at a home in the 500 block of Henry Street in Merced and that he had been working as a maintenance man at a group home for the last four years.
U.S. Marshals Service investigators, along with deputies from the Merced County Sheriff’s Department and the California Department of Corrections, went to the group home and observed a man resembling Clouston seated in a chair and reading a newspaper. They approached and identified the man, placing him into custody without incident, according to the U.S. Marshall’s office.
“The capture of Paul Clouston is a testament to the effectiveness of our 15 most wanted list and the partnerships we maintain with other law enforcement agencies,” said John F. Clark, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. “It also speaks volumes to the value of someone doing the right thing and reporting a suspicious individual. Taking this predator off the streets and returning him to justice was a priority, and I hope his capture helps bring some closure to his victims.”
Clouston was convicted in 1973 on second degree murder charges for the 1972 murder of a police detective in Buena Park, Calif., and was released from prison in 1982. He was indicted on 17 counts of sexually abusing children in the Williamsburg, Va., area in 1991 and pled guilty to seven of the 17 charges. He was returned to prison and paroled in 2005, but absconded after failing to register as a sex offender with the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Clouston was wanted by the U.S. Marshals for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, by the Virginia State Police for failing to register as a sex offender, and by the Virginia Division of Probation and Parole for alleged violations of his parole on a conviction for the armed sexual assault of a child.
Clouston was booked into the Merced County Jail and is being held without bail. He is awaiting extradition back to Virginia.
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