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US man facing child porn charges arrested

US man facing child porn charges arrested

An American fugitive on the run since October 15 over charges of child pornography and child abuse was captured in Kratie province around midday yesterday. He has been brought to Phnom Penh’s immigration department, immigration head Sok Phal told the Post late last night.

Prum Phanith, Kratie’s deputy police chief in charge of immigration, said Michael Edward Harris, who went under the alias “Mike Dobbs” in Cambodia, was arrested alone in the province’s Chhlong district.

“He was driving a motorbike in Chhlong and police in Kratie arrested him following orders from the immigration department,” Phanith said.

Deputy provincial police officer Oum Phy confirmed the arrest. “We don’t know what kind of charges he is facing, but we followed the ministry’s orders. Our police have this man’s photo.”

Harris was charged with 44 counts of child pornography possession in Orlando, Florida, and he is being sought by the US Army relating to allegations of indecent acts on a child and forced sodomy, US Army media relations officer Wayne Hall previously told the Post.

Harris entered Cambodia on January 17, but was only flagged for travel over two months later after he was charged for desertion on March 28.

Harris’ ex-wife, Denise Diaz, a former police officer living in Kentucky, says her children were victims of Harris’ alleged abuse and was dissatisfied with how long it was taking to arrest Harris.

Diaz started a Facebook campaign earlier this month to find her ex-husband, who was quickly spotted on online forums as a dog trainer at a Sihanoukville dog training centre.

After forums exploded with rumours of his location, Harris abruptly fled his Sihanoukville apartment on October 15 and had been on the run in the Kingdom until his capture yesterday.

“Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace! CAPTURED!” Diaz posted on the Facebook page “Fugitive Michael Edward Harris Bring Him to Justice”.

The US Embassy confirmed the arrest but declined to comment late yesterday.

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