Federal fugitive captured after viewer tip leads investigators to Cancun

Posted at 4:59 PM, Feb 09, 2016
Joseph Andersen

Joseph Andersen

CANCUN, Mexico – Investigators with the U.S. Marshals Western Michigan Fugitive Task Force say a viewer tip has helped lead to the arrest of a fugitive featured on West Michigan’s Most Wanted back in August 2015.

Joseph Andersen was wanted after violating the conditions of his federal release after serving time for a series of robberies in the Walker area in early 2005.

Federal documents show Andersen targeted the U-Haul store on Alpine Avenue NW multiple times, along with the Meijer Credit Union on Gaynor Avenue NW between January and March of that year.

More than $13,000 was taken in those robberies.  Andersen was later charged and convicted after investigators found shoes matching the tread of the footprints left at one of the crime scenes.  The handgun and cash from those robberies were also confiscated, along with a handwritten note Andersen had written to his brother with detailed instructions for recovering a bag of money following one of the crimes.

Further investigation would reveal Andersen had worked at the U-Haul store on Alpine Avenue, which was robbed four times.

The U.S. Marshals say they received a viewer tip that Andersen had fled to Mexico and was working in the Cancun area.  The information was forwarded to the U.S. Consulate and U.S. Marshals stationed in Mexico, who were able to determine Andersen was indeed in the area and had brought his girlfriend and 4 kids there as well.

U.S. officials coordinated with Mexican immigration officials, leading to Andersen’s arrest on Monday.

Andersen has since been deported from Mexico to the U.S. and was taken into custody by deputy U.S. Marshals in Miami as he walked off the plane.  Andersen has appeared in federal court in Miami and will return to Michigan within 30 days to face his federal charges here.