Escaped inmate on the run for 25 years caught

Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, July 12, 2017

LAS VEGAS — A man who escaped from a Minnesota federal prison in 1992 and had been on the run ever since was taken back into custody last month after trying to renew his state identification card.

Investigators from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles withheld 64-year-old Robert Frederick Nelson’s state ID after a facial recognition system showed the same person had previously held a Nevada driver’s license in the name of Craig James Pautler.

Investigators found Nelson had a string of felony convictions under both names and arrested him June 20.

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Nelson was released into custody of the U.S. Marshals. He will serve his remaining sentence and additional time for his escape 25 years ago from the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester. The Nevada charges were dismissed to facilitate the extradition.