Woman with Perham ties arrested after moving son out of state, skipping sentencing
MOORHEAD - In a case one police official here describes as "very, very rare," a woman is charged with taking her 3-year-old son to Louisiana - prompting a nationwide warrant for her arrest - after she skipped her sentencing for a drug conviction ...
MOORHEAD - In a case one police official here describes as "very, very rare," a woman is charged with taking her 3-year-old son to Louisiana - prompting a nationwide warrant for her arrest - after she skipped her sentencing for a drug conviction in Clay County District Court.
Ana Marie Pena, 32, was charged last week with two felony counts of depriving the boy's father of his parental rights.
Moorhead Police Lt. Brad Penas said the boy was recovered unharmed Saturday by the Ouachita (La.) Parish Sheriff's Office. Pena was arrested at the same time and is being held pending extradition from Louisiana.
The FBI and West Monroe (La.) Police Department also were "very instrumental" in helping Moorhead police find the boy and reunite him with his father, said Penas, who described such cases as "very, very rare."
"They don't happen often at all," he said.
Assistant County Attorney Heidi Davies also said such cases are uncommon.
According to the charging documents, the boy's father went to Moorhead police on April 3 and reported that Pena had taken their son out of state in violation of their joint custody agreement.
The father, who is referred to only by his initials in the complaint, told police that Pena and the boy had been living at her sister's place in Perham.
He said he last spoke with the boy in late January or early February. After that, each time he tried to contact his son, Pena's family members would only say to him that the boy was OK and doing fine, he told police.
The boy's father eventually learned that Pena had moved with the boy to Louisiana to live with another one of her sisters, the complaint states.
The sister from Perham told police Pena "knew she had a warrant out for her arrest but she was scared to turn herself in because she did not want to have her son taken from her," the complaint states.
Court records show the warrant was issued Nov. 7 when Pena failed to appear for sentencing after pleading guilty to selling cocaine to a confidential police informant between July 16 and Aug. 13 of 2010.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Pena was to serve 180 days in jail and pay $1,085 in fines and fees.
The warrant was originally restricted to a tri-state area, but it was expanded nationwide last Thursday after authorities checked the sister's residence in Louisiana and didn't find Pena or the boy.
They were found Saturday at a residence in the West Monroe area, Penas said.