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Kentucky Sheriff Nabs Wrong Fugitive In California

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

A sheriff in South-Central Kentucky drove to California to pick up a fugitive, then found out after he returned to Kentucky that he had the wrong man.

Butler County Sheriff Joe Gaddie and a deputy drove over 4,200 miles to find Joe Orus, who was wanted for fleeing and evading police and drunken driving in Kentucky.

A man named Joe Oros was awaiting release from a prison in Tehachapi, CA., when a check showed an outstanding warrant in Kentucky. Officials notified Butler County Sheriff Joe Gaddie, who along with a Deputy, came and got him.

"We were just doing what we were ordered to," Sheriff Joe Gaddie said.

Sheriff Gaddie says he is not to blame for the mix up. He blames prison officials in California.

"When you hear the story that Joe Gaddie brought the wrong person back, he did not bring the wrong person back. He did in fact bring back the real Joe Orus. Prison officials said we've got him and he's signed a waiver of extradition, so come get him," said Sheriff Gaddie.

Turns out it was a case of apparent stolen identity. Gaddie says a check of mugshots and fingerprints showed the man wanted in Kentucky had stolen Joe Oros' identity.

After finding the mistake, Butler County officials paid for Orus to fly back to California.

Gaddie said he thought the trip cost about $1,300, but under state mileage rules, the state could be billed for more than $5,400.

Meanwhile, the man who fled prosecution in Butler County is still on the run.


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