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Fugitive From England Arrested In Ozark; Charged With Illegal Firearms

SPRINGFIELD ‑ Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a fugitive from England who was arrested in Ozark, was charged in federal court last Thursday with illegally possessing firearms.

Edward John Maher, also known as Michael Maher, 56, of Ozark, was charged with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., on Feb. 9.

The criminal complaint 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, and a Mossberg .22-caliber rifle.

According to an affidavit filed in support of Thursday’s complaint, the Ozark Police Department received information on Monday, Feb. 6, 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.

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 charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge 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 FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Ozark, Mo., Police Department.