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Career criminal who escaped Minnesota prison 25 years ago caught in Las Vegas

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A career criminal who turned violent and changed his name after escaping federal custody in Minnesota about 25 years ago and fleeing to Nevada has been arrested again.

Robert Frederick Nelson, 64, of North Las Vegas, committed a string of robberies and burglaries with a weapon in Nevada after he escaped from the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester, Minn., in 1992.

He was finally caught again after he applied for a renewal of his Nevada identification card on June 5, 2017, according to KTNV-TV in Las Vegas. Investigators withheld the card after the Department of Motor Vehicle’s facial recognition system showed the same person had previously held a Nevada driver’s license in the name of Craig James Pautler.

Investigators found Nelson had a string of felony convictions under both names. He was arrested June 20 in Las Vegas. The federal Bureau of Prisons pursued extradition and Nelson was released into the custody of the U.S. Marshals on July 3 to serve his remaining sentence in Rochester and additional time for his escape 25 years ago.

Nelson was originally sent to federal prison after being arrested by the Secret Service in the late 1980s on multiple counterfeiting charges.