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FBI’s most-wanted child porn suspect nabbed in Nicaragua


  • Eric Justin Toth as seen in an image made from the Federal Bureau of Investigation "Ten Most Wanted" section of the website. Police in Nicaragua have detained one of the FBI's ten most-wanted fugitives, child-porn suspect Eric Justin Toth. The head of detectives for Nicaragua's National Police force says Toth was detained near the Honduran border. Glenda Zavala said today that Toth had been detained Saturday, based on an international detention request. The former Washington D.C. elementary school teacher faces accusations he possessed and produced child pornography. (AP Photo/FBI)
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua » Police in Nicaragua have detained a U.S. man who was on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted fugitives as a suspect in a child pornography investigation, authorities confirmed today.

Former school teacher Eric Justin Toth was detained Saturday in Esteli, a city near Nicaragua’s border with Honduras, said Glenda Zavala, head of detectives for Nicaragua’s National Police.

Toth’s arrest was based on an international detention request, she said.

He was expected to be presented to the media later today in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.

Toth taught third grade at Beauvoir, a private elementary school on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral. He was escorted off campus in June 2008 after another teacher reported finding sexually explicit photographs on a school camera in Toth’s possession. He had not been seen since he lost his job.

In a statement, the school commended the work of U.S. authorities.

“We commend the work of the Office of the U.S. Attorney and the FBI for their ongoing efforts to apprehend Mr. Toth. They have been tenacious and resolute in their quest to bring this case to justice,” it said.

Toth was added to the FBI’s most-wanted list in April 2012 for allegedly possessing and producing child pornography, giving him notoriety normally reserved for people sought in connection with violent crimes or terrorism.

Osama bin Laden and purported Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger have both been featured on that list, but the FBI said it put Toth on because there were no reliable clues as to his whereabouts and because his Internet skills and alleged penchant for grooming children made him especially dangerous.

Authorities found Toth’s car at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in August 2008 with a note suggesting he’d committed suicide in a nearby lake. But no body was found.

The FBI, which had been offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Toth’s arrest, said he was believed to have traveled to Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Toth is thought to have lived in Arizona in 2009.

The bureau had said that Toth might have been advertising as a tutor or a male nanny and using the alias of David Bussone.

Associated Press writer Erick Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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