Troopers Arrest Deserter In Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska State Troopers have arrested a Fairbanks man who ran away from the Navy in Virginia and re-invented himself in Alaska. Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says Troopers were alerted by federal Diplomatic Security Service agents about U.S. Navy deserter Royce Allen Eagle’s presence in Fairbanks. Ipsen says the 26-year old Eagle was living under a new identity.

Ipsen says Eagle, who’s originally from Indiana, deserted his Navy station in Newport News, Virginia in 2007 and moved to Fairbanks in 2008, where he went by Rick Engle, and successfully obtained several forms of identification, registered vehicles and got a job.  She says federal agents caught on when Eagle tried to get a passport with an all zeroes social security number. Ipsen says he’s under federal investigation for several crimes, and already faces charges in Alaska.

Ipsen says it’s also unknown how the Navy is handling Eagle.  She’s says Troopers deal with desertion cases fairly regularly due to the high number of service members in Alaska, but that the latest case was the first time, she knows of, that Troopers were contacted by the US State Department Diplomatic Security Service.

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