The Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution today secured a long prison sentence for a former fugitive caught and arrested after more than a decade on the run. Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Richard A. Howard sentenced Stephen Bishop Hall to 30 years in prison for drug trafficking charges that Hall pleaded guilty to in 2006.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The long arm of the law caught up with the fugitive in Thailand. This case should serve as an example to anyone trying to evade justice. We will find you and you will be held responsible.”
In 2005, the Florida’s Attorney General’s OSP and the State Attorney’s Office for the Fifth Judicial Circuit charged Hall with numerous drug trafficking offenses. The charges followed an investigation by a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Task Force and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, linking Hall to multiple drug trafficking crimes.
In July 2006, Hall pleaded guilty to the following drug charges:
- Trafficking in cocaine, 400 grams or more;
- Three counts of trafficking in cocaine, 28 grams or more;
- Trafficking in oxycodone;
- Sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine;
- Possession of a controlled substance;
- Possession of cannabis; and
- Possession of paraphernalia.
Hall failed to appear for sentencing in October 2007 and remained a fugitive until being federally indicted for making a false statement in a passport application and aggravated identity theft in Thailand.
Authorities transported Hall back to Citrus County to face charges after serving a 30-month federal sentence. The Florida Attorney General’s OSP worked in conjunction with the Office of Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King. Assistant State Attorney Blake Shore and Deputy Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Joseph Spataro handled the cases.