Tattooed fugitive who was supposed to arrive in Austin arrested

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Matthew Stager_549951

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A convicted sex offender who was supposed to check into the Austin Transitional Center in Del Valle after being released from a Virginia prison is now back in custody.

Authorities say 45-year-old Matthew Ezekiel Stager was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Washington D.C. after being on the lam for nearly a week. Authorities say Stager was furloughed from a federal prison last Thursday and ordered to self-report to the Austin facility. Although the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provided Stager transportation to the Richmond International Airport, he never checked into his flight. Once that happened, the U.S. Marshals placed him on escape status.

While Stager never got on the plane to come to Austin, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said he had possible ties to the Austin-area and appeared to have family here. He also lived in Cedar Park and Temple prior to his 2013 federal conviction.

Stager originally pled guilty to charges of indecency with a child in North Carolina in 1999. When he failed to update his sex offender registration, the U.S. Marshals Service in Austin initiated an Adam Walsh Act. Authorities said he lived as a transient over the next few years and wasn’t apprehended until December 2012 in Bowling Green, Virginia. He was extradited to Austin where he pled guilty to violating the Adam Walsh Act and was sentenced to five years in federal prison. He was scheduled to be released in July 2017, but was sent to the Austin halfway house to start his residential transitional program, which is still under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons.

Authorities say Stager has an extensive criminal history in seven states that includes dangerous drugs, rape and assault.

Stager is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals in Washington D.C., pending transfer to Virginia where he will face the escape charge.

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