East Hawaii News

Alaska Fugitive Arrested at Hilo’s Wailoa Boat Ramp

February 4, 2014, 5:41 PM HST
* Updated February 5, 11:39 AM
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A fugitive from Alaska was arrested early this morning at the Wailoa boat ramp by a federal task force assisted by Hawaii County police.

Thomas Alan Dye, 58, of Ketchikan, Alaska was wanted on a felony no-bail arrest warrant for violating terms of supervised release, according to a press release issued today by the US Marshals Service.

Dye was arrested in 2010 for defrauding the US government of $257,000 by falsely claiming he had a disability related to combat service.

At the time of his 2010 arrest, Dye had in his possession two firearms which he was carrying illegally because of a 1996 felony conviction in Oregon.

In January 2011, Dye was sentenced in Alaska to two years in federal prison for fraud and being a felon in possession of a firearm, followed by three years of supervised release, the federal equivalent of probation.

After being released from prison, Dye violated the terms of his release, the Marshals Service said.

A felony warrant was issued in August 2013, but Dye fled Alaska before he could be arrested.

Dye’s criminal history includes resisting arrest, assault and multiple convictions for carrying a concealed firearm, the Marshal’s Service said.

Dye was tracked to Kona and later to Hilo, where Dye was involved with the fishing industry, the statement said. Marshals also believed Dye was likely carrying a firearm.

At 3:30 this morning, US Marshals, Hawaii state Sheriffs, county police and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrested Dye without incident.

Some of the members of the federal task force during this morning's arrest. US Marshals photo.

Some of the members of the federal task force during this morning’s arrest. US Marshals photo.

Dye was temporarily booked into the Hilo police cellblock pending transport to the US Marshals’ cellblock in Honolulu. He will then go before a federal judge before being transported back to Alaska.

According to the US Attorney’s Office in Alaska, Dye had previously been in Hilo, where in 2006 he applied for a passport using a false birthdate and the social security number of a man who had died in Pennsylvania in 1971.

Dye, who had been honorably discharged after serving seven years in the US Coast Guard, falsified his discharge record to include medals and other honors he had never been awarded, the Alaska US Attorney said in a statement issued in 2011.

The false claims included the Bronze Star with “V” for valor, a Purple Heart, the Good Conduct medal and various other medals and certificates for service in Vietnam.

The Alaska US Attorney said Dye also falsely claimed he was a Navy SEAL special operator and had been certified by the Underwater Demolition School.

Using those misrepresentations and other documents, Dye claimed he had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder while serving as a SEAL in Vietnam. As a result, he illegally collected $257,000 in disability payments between 1992 and 2008.

In 2007, Dye also sought to be hired by the Alaska Inter-Island Ferry System as a pilot by falsely claiming he had been properly certified by the Coast Guard.

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