SPRINGFIELD ‑ Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that additional charges have been filed against a fugitive from England who was arrested in Ozark, Mo., and indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday for illegally possessing firearms, document fraud and identity theft.
Edward John Maher, also known as Michael Maher, 56, of Ozark, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield. Tuesday’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed on Feb. 9, 2012, and includes additional charges. Maher remains in federal custody.
Tuesday’s indictment alleges that Maher used a Social Security card as an identification document for employment verification in Christian County, Mo., on May 25, 2010. The indictment alleges that the Social Security card was not issued lawfully for Maher’s use.
Maher is also charged with aggravated identity theft. Maher allegedly possessed and used a means of identification that he knew belonged to another person. This charge is related to Maher’s alleged use of a Missouri driver’s license in the name of his brother, Michael Maher, on Oct. 12, 2011.
The indictment also includes the charge that was contained in the original criminal complaint. The indictment alleges that Maher, an illegal alien, was in possession of a Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol, a Jennings .380 pistol, a Mauser 7.62×39 rifle, a Mossberg .22-caliber rifle and ammunition on Feb. 8, 2012. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Maher to forfeit those firearms to the government.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the Ozark Police Department received information on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, regarding a fugitive from England who allegedly stole a large amount of cash while working as a security guard. Ozark police officers and FBI agents conducted surveillance of Maher until he was arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.
Maher told federal agents that he began working in the United States in 1998 and has been using the identity of his brother, Michael Maher, who lives in England. Police officers seized the firearms from Maher’s residence and from a storage facility in Ozark. Under federal law, it is unlawful for an illegal alien to possess any firearms or ammunition.
Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.
Ozark Police Officer David Overcast, of Ava, had significant involvement in Maher’s initial arrest.