Posted 11:15 AM 2/29/2012 : Crime Trackers: Fugitive busted in Mexico
TUCSON- A man on the run since the late 70s for being a habitual criminal is back behind bars.
Pima County Sheriff's detectives say it was his old ways that eventually caught up with Billy Kelley.
They say Kelley's criminal history is extensive - it ranged from theft to check fraud.
Kelley is now locked up at the Pima County Jail. He was arrested in January. Investigators say they put an end to his criminal career.
Detective Matt Schilb, says, "He stayed under the radar for over 30 years by doing odd jobs, taking other names, meeting people and meeting people who had money."
It took six months for Detective Schilb to track him down. He says he found addresses in Sahuarita and in San Carlos Sonora.
The fugitive went under the names of Billy Kelley, which is the name on his birth certificate, as well as aliases John Hibbs and Bill Lambert.
Bill Lambert was the name he started out with in Arizona - he claims his cousin, the real Bill Lambert, told him he could use the name. That cousin died, so 12 years ago, he changed it to John Hibbs. The real John Hibbs is a friend from Oklahoma. The friend told detectives he had no idea his identity had been stolen.
It was in San Carlos, Sonora, on a fishing trip in 2006, that he says he met Dorothy Johnson, a widow he befriended. In 2011, she died, and her step daughter discovered John Hibbs was a fraud.
Detective Schilb says , "She found fake birth certificates."
She also learned John Hibbs had a new will that gave him power of attorney and made him executor of Dorothy Johnson's estate. Detective Schilb says it was that document that lead him to get a death certificate and gain access to her bank accounts and her money.
Billy Kelley declined an on-camera interview saying "I refuse to appear in an orange monkey suit." He also tells News 4 he did nothing to harm anyone, he just used their names. During his three decades on the run, he had plastic surgery in Mexico.
Also, after the detective began digging into Kelley's past, he learned the state of Washington, where he was wanted, had quashed his arrest warrant after 15 years. Officials told the detective they had lost track of him and decided not to pursue the charges.
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