Johe Wesley Saatio back in custody. Photo MSP
John Wesley Saatio back in custody. Photo MSP

QCOSTARICA – John Wesley Saatio, the U.S. sex offender who escaped from the Hatillo immigration detention centre last week, has been recaptured and is now in the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) jail cells.

Saatio while on the run from American authorities was nabbed in Costa Rica on June 2 and was waiting a deportation hearing when he escaped. OIJ agents caught up with the tall and tattooed 35-year-old sentenced to U.S. prison for sexual crimes, in the area of San Miguel de Desamparados.

The Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, confirmed the recapture in a press conference on Wednesday.

Previously he had tried to escape police custody by bending the bars in a thwarted jail break. Mata said that the American is now being held at a “maximum” holding facility.

Saatio was being held in the Hatillo immigration detention centre after his arrest on June 2, escaping on June 19 while being served dinner, breaking through a fence and up through the roof of the facility. Immigration officials are investigating whether there was negligence or a pay off.

On Monday, immigration director Gladys Jiménez, explained that Saatio was moved to the dining room of the detention centre despite an order he be held in isolation.

The immigration director confirmed that Saatio had made an application for asylum in Costa Rica,w ith a hearing scheduled for June 13. Following the press conference, Minister Mata on his Twitter account said Saatio’s asylum had been denied.

Saatio will now be deported from Costa Rica to the United States as any other illegal immigrant or extradited if the U.S. makes a request.

It is still not known publicly how Saatio managed to make his way from the United States to Costa Rica despite his “wanted” status. Saatio escaped from a Michigan jail on June 19, 2015, after being arraigned on break-in charges. He was already service a sentence for sexual offences.

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