SEBREE, Ky. (WEHT) — A wanted fugitive from New York City is now behind bars in the Tri-State after the FBI says he groomed a missing child from Guatemala.
Miguel Mach Tzoc, 26, was arrested on a federal warrant from the Southern District of New York for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. Police say his original charge was Rape 3rd Degree, which had been issued in New York City.
Deputies say a 16-year-old girl that had been missing since 2020 was rescued as a result of the investigation. According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the girl is now the mother of an infant child. Law enforcement officials say she and her baby are now safe and will return to New York City.
“Tzoc, here on a green card, according to F.B.I agents, groomed his female victim where eventually he paid and arranged a ‘coyote’ to take the girl from her home in Guatemala,” says the sheriff’s office.
Deputies say the victim made it across the border and ended up in California, then traveled to New York by bus where she met Tzoc. After a “violent episode” there, officials say she was taken by the state of New York into foster care.
Law enforcement officials believe Tzoc found her and the pair left New York for Sebree, Kentucky. The FBI contacted the Union County Sheriff’s Office, saying that Tzoc might be employed within the county.
“UCSO made contact with the employer who could have not known of Tzoc’s status who was working legally in the U.S.” deputies say in a press release. “The employer was most helpful and instrumental in bringing this issue to a close.”
The Union County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police, FBI and New York Police Department reportedly took Tzoc into custody while he was working.
Tzoc was booked into the Webster County Detention Center for Fugitive from Another State. He is housed there while awaiting extradition.