U.S. catches German fugitive posing as trucker near Canadian border

| 5/11/2005

A German fugitive – wanted for murder in his native country and posing as a commercial truck driver in Canada – has been captured by U.S. authorities along the Canadian border.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested David Kricheli, formerly of the Republic of Georgia, near Buffalo, NY, at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge on Sunday, May 8, Newsday reported.

Kricheli was wanted for murder and attempted murder for a 1997 shooting in Lemgo, Germany, Newsday reported. Specific details of the case were not available.

According to several news reports, Kricheli had been living in Canada under the alias Michael Tonia, where he worked as a long-haul driver. He received a non-immigrant U.S. visa in January 2004, and his work involved driving on both sides of the border.

It was Kricheli’s bilateral line of work that eventually led to his capture. Authorities matched prints on file from his visa application with recent data supplied by Interpol as part of the U.S. Visit program, a program which checks fingerprints against a criminal and terrorist database, Newsday reported.