An American paratrooper who went AWOL for producing child sex images has been caught by police and returned to the US after he was found hiding in Devon.

Robert Louis Barnett III, 34, was placed on the army’s most wanted list after he deserted the US military in 2013. 

Barnett fled to the UK with his wife and children and was found in Barnstaple, Devon, in an FBI Internet Crime Against Children sting six years after going AWOL.

Robert Louis Barnett III, 34, was placed on the army's most wanted list after he deserted the US military in 2013 after he was caught in an FBI Internet Crime Against Children sting

Robert Louis Barnett III, 34, was placed on the army's most wanted list after he deserted the US military in 2013 after he was caught in an FBI Internet Crime Against Children sting

Robert Louis Barnett III, 34, was placed on the army’s most wanted list after he deserted the US military in 2013 after he was caught in an FBI Internet Crime Against Children sting

He was transferred into US military custody the next day and flown on a C-17 Globemaster back to his home country, according to US media reports.

He has since appeared before a court martial and been sentenced to 11 years confinement.

US officials have hailed his capture, arrest and deportation as a ‘great example of international cooperation’.   

According to the 82nd Airborne Division, Barnett was caught engaging in lewd web camera exchanges with several under age girls between February and October 2012.

For the next six years he was listed as ‘armed and dangerous’ by US authorities.

US authorities tracked him to the UK and the investigation led to lengthy negotiations with the Met Police and Home Office.  

Barnett’s time on the run came to an end on May 31 when he was arrested in Barnstaple by local police, Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed.

He fled to the UK with his wife and children and was found in Barnstaple, Devon, (pictured) six years after going AWOL

He fled to the UK with his wife and children and was found in Barnstaple, Devon, (pictured) six years after going AWOL

He fled to the UK with his wife and children and was found in Barnstaple, Devon, (pictured) six years after going AWOL

According to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Barnett attempted to evade capture in multiple ways over a two week period.  

US Army officers have praised his capture.

Brigadier General, from the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, said: ‘What a great example of international cooperation bringing about justice and safety to others.

‘The UK and world are a little safer now because of your actions,’ he told special agents.

The 82nd Airborne Division commander, Major General James Mingus, praised his team’s ‘perseverance’ in bringing Barnett to justice.

DailyMail Online


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