A WANTED drug dealer who went into hiding for ten years appeared in a Spanish court in Madrid today after he was tracked down by North Yorkshire Police.
Michael John Walsh, 75, was convicted in October 2005 of cultivating and supplying cannabis in the Scarborough area.He was jailed for five years, nine months at Hull Crown Court in April 2006.
In December 2007, Walsh, from Leeds, was released from prison on licence.
He was recalled to prison shortly afterwards for breaching the terms of his release.
But instead of handing himself in, Walsh went on the run and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
North Yorkshire Police conducted extensive enquiries spanning a number of years to track Walsh down.
North Yorkshire Police’s Force Intelligence Bureau along with Spanish Guarda Civil officers eventually located him in Malaga and applied for a European Arrest Warrant, so he could be detained anywhere in Europe.
They worked closely with Interpol and Spanish and UK authorities to bring him to justice.
The court in Madrid will decide whether to remand him in custody before he can be extradited to the UK to serve the remainder of his sentence.
North Yorkshire Police Intelligence Management Officer Paul Somerville said: “As this case shows, some criminals think that because they can’t see us, we can’t see them.
“But in this day and age, very few offenders are genuinely untraceable – everyone leaves footprints.
“Sometimes gathering information about people who abscond, especially overseas, can take time, patience and commitment.
“But by working closely with British and Spanish authorities, we’ve been able to arrest a convicted drug dealer who’s gone to great lengths to evade justice.”