A Old Friend, on the Run for 14 Years, Captured by FBI: Juggler Neil Stammer

By Xah Lee. Date:
Neil Stammer 2014 78405
Neil Stammer in 2014

something personal just happened. In 1986, in Montreal, when is was 16 and a street juggler, i met this guy, named Andrew Allen (who later changed name to Neil Stammer). He is a renowned world-class juggler, holding some world records in juggling. He is a street guy, wandered about from country to country, speak and read/write several languages, including Chinese and Old English (and German, French...).

i know him only briefly for about a year, but we are somewhat very close. But i left Montreal Canada in 1989 (when i was 21), and we haven't been in contact.

about a decade ago (around 2001 or about), i discovered from juggling forums, that he's been arrested and charged for pedophilia related things.

I recall, he is a nice guy, and when he was with me, he… (i rather not say), but we haven't had sex (of any sort), nor did he forced or anything in any way. (i am not gay, but he is bisexual.)

And right now, while reading news about FBI's new face recognition software, i ran into this article. Apparently, he's just been captured last month.

Here's the mirror of FBI's page, in case it goes away in the future.

[Long-Time Fugitive Captured: Juggler Was on the Run for 14 Years By FBI. At http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/august/long-time-fugitive-neil-stammer-captured/long-time-fugitive-neil-stammer-captured , accessed on 2014-09-23 ]

Long-Time Fugitive Captured

Juggler Was on the Run for 14 Years

Neil Stammer captured poster screenshot


How do you catch a fugitive who has been on the run for 14 years, has traveled extensively overseas, speaks a dozen languages, and could be anywhere in the world?

The answer to that question, as Special Agent Russ Wilson learned, is a lot of hard work -- and a little bit of luck.

Neil Stammer, a talented juggler with an international reputation, was recently arrested in Nepal and returned to New Mexico to face child sex abuse charges. The events that led to his capture are a testament to good investigative work and strong partnerships, and also to the strength of the FBI's fugitive publicity program.

Here's how the case unfolded:

Stammer, who once owned a New Mexico magic shop, was arrested in 1999 on multiple state charges including child sex abuse and kidnapping. He was released on bond but never showed up for his arraignment. New Mexico issued a state arrest warrant in May 2000; a federal fugitive charge was filed a month later, which allowed the FBI to become involved in the case.

Stammer, who was 32 years old when he went on the run, told investigators that he began juggling as a teenager to make money, and he was good at it. Before his 1999 arrest, he had lived in Europe as a street performer and had learned a variety of languages. At the time of his disappearance, it was reported that Stammer could read or speak about a dozen of them.

Given his overseas travel experience and his language skills, the juggler could have been hiding anywhere in the world. With few credible leads, the case against Stammer went cold. Nepal Locator Map

Fast forward to January 2014. Special Agent Russ Wilson had just been assigned the job of fugitive coordinator in our Albuquerque Division -- the person responsible for helping to catch the region's bank robbers, murderers, sex offenders, and other criminals who had fled rather than face the charges against them.

“In addition to the current fugitives, I had a stack of old cases,” Wilson said, “and Stammer's stood out.” Working with our Office of Public Affairs, a new wanted poster for Stammer was posted on FBI.gov in hopes of generating tips.

At about the same time, a special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) -- a branch of the U.S. Department of State whose mission includes protecting U.S. Embassies and maintaining the integrity of U.S. visa and passport travel documents -- was testing new facial recognition software designed to uncover passport fraud. On a whim, the agent decided to use the software on FBI wanted posters. When he came upon Stammer's poster online, a curious thing happened: Stammer's face matched a person whose passport photo carried a different name.

Suspecting fraud, the agent contacted the Bureau. The tip soon led Wilson to Nepal, where Stammer was living under the name Kevin Hodges and regularly visiting the U.S. Embassy there to renew his tourist visa.

“He was very comfortable in Nepal,” Wilson said. “My impression was that he never thought he would be discovered.” Stammer had been living in Nepal for years, teaching English and other languages to students hoping to gain entrance into U.S. universities.

Although Nepal and the U.S. have no formal extradition agreement, the Nepalese government cooperated with our efforts to bring Stammer to justice. “We had tremendous assistance from DSS, the State Department, and the government of Nepal,” Wilson said. “It was a huge team effort with a great outcome.”

[Fugitive Neil Stammer in Custody By Frank Fisher, Fbi Albuquerque. At http://www.fbi.gov/albuquerque/press-releases/2014/fugitive-neil-stammer-in-custody , accessed on 2014-09-23 ]

Fugitive Neil Stammer in Custody

FBI Albuquerque July 19, 2014

Public Affairs Specialist Frank Fisher (505) 889-1438

Neil Stammer, a former Albuquerque resident wanted by the FBI since 2000 on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, has been returned to the United States following his arrest in Nepal.

Special agents from the FBI and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) escorted Stammer from Nepal to Albuquerque International Sunport on a flight that arrived Saturday afternoon (July 19, 2014).

An arrest warrant had been issued for Stammer on May 15, 2000, in New Mexico, for failure to appear for arraignment on multiple charges including sex abuse charges and kidnapping.

On June 9, 2000, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Stammer by the United States District Court, District of New Mexico, for the charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

DS special agents assigned as Assistant Regional Security Officer-Investigators (ARSO-Is) at the U.S. Embassies in London and Kathmandu, Nepal, identified Stammer using investigative photos from FBI files. Working with the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs and Nepali authorities, these agents determined that Stammer had entered Nepal using a fraudulent passport and assisted in locating him.

Stammer, 47, had been working in Nepal under a different name for approximately eight years.

“This is a great example of multiple government agencies and nations working together to capture a fugitive wanted for allegedly preying on children,” said Carol K. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque FBI Division. “I want to thank the government of Nepal for its excellent cooperation, as well as the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, units of the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Second Judicial District Attorney's Office, and the Albuquerque Police Department.”

“With over 100 specially trained passport and visa fraud investigators in more than 65 countries around the world, Diplomatic Security works with our international and federal law enforcement partners to bring fugitives like Stammer home to face justice,” said Barry Moore, DS's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations.

Upon arrival, Stammer was turned over to local authorities to face state charges.

“We are pleased to work with the FBI and the Albuquerque Police Department in the apprehension of Mr. Stammer,” said District Attorney Kari Brandenburg. “His extradition to New Mexico means that the state and the alleged victims will finally have their day in court. We have been able to locate each of the alleged victims. We will continue to work with them and, in the end, hope to bring them some measure of justice.”

“The Albuquerque Police Department is grateful for the hard work and perseverance of our federal law enforcement partners and the government of Nepal in locating this extremely dangerous fugitive,” said Police Chief Gorden Eden, Jr. “We can only hope that during his time as a fugitive that he did not commit similar terrible crimes on others.”

Neil Stammer 2014-07 248481-5716b
Neil Stammer mugshot