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04/03/2012

MAN OWING MORE THAN $30,000 IN FINES AND RESTITUTION BROUGHT BACK FROM COSTA RICA

Michael K. Sanders

     A man owing more than $30,000.00 in court ordered fines, court costs, fees, and victim restitution since prior to 1998 was arrested in Costa Rica and has been extradited to Baxter County on an outstanding felony bench warrant for Contempt of Court.

     MICHAEL K. SANDERS, 39 years old and residing in Costa Rica, was arrested by United States Marshals last month and transported to Houston, Texas.  Baxter County deputies picked up SANDERS in Houston on March 23, 2012 and brought him to the Baxter County Detention Center to be held to answer the warrant. 

     MICHAEL SANDERS was last arrested in Baxter County on multiple felony Theft of Property charges on August 14, 1998, and was subsequently convicted in Circuit Court.  He remained in custody until November 23, 1998.  During his sentencing on these Theft charges, as well as sentencings on previous charges on Defrauding Secured Creditors in May, 1993, Hot Check Violations in November, 1995, and Theft by Deception in January, 1996, he was ordered to pay restitution in excess of $25,000.00 to thirty (30) separate victims.  These victims were businesses and private citizens of Baxter County.  Some of these establishments are no longer in business, and some of the victims are deceased.  In addition to the restitution, SANDERS was ordered to pay fines in the amount of $1,150.00 and court costs in the amount of $950.00.  He made a few payments in 1998, but then stopped paying altogether.  Since then, additional installment fees totaling $720.00 have been added to his balance.   

     Most of the theft charges that SANDERS faced involved him accepting monies from various persons to purchase parts for outboard motors or to make repairs on outboard motors, which he never did.  He did not return the motors or the money he had taken for the parts. 

     In 2010, the Sheriff’s Office filed a petition with the Circuit Court asking the judge to issue a bench warrant for MICHAEL K. SANDERS for Contempt of Court for failing to pay his court ordered restitution and fines from the 1998 cases.  A bench warrant was issued on April 16, 2010, and it was entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.   

     Since the time the warrant was issued, the Sheriff’s Office followed up on several tips or leads as to the whereabouts of SANDERS, including information that he was residing in Florida.  He was finally picked up in Costa Rica, and the United States Marshals Service arrested him there based on the NCIC entry.  At the request of the Sheriff’s Office, the Marshals Service brought SANDERS to Houston, Texas for pick up.  SANDERS appeared here in Circuit Court on March 29th and entered a plea to the contempt charge.  He was sentenced to serve 178 days in the Baxter County Detention Center, after which time he was ordered to begin paying his significant restitution and fines.  He currently owes exactly $30,234.12.   

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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