WHEELING - Mexican authorities on Monday arrested Eugene Cobbs, more than a year after the convicted drug dealer escaped from a minimum security prison in Morgantown.
Cobbs was deported following his arrest, and transported to Los Angeles, according to information provided by the U.S. Marshals service. Federal marshals arrested Cobbs at Los Angeles International Airport upon his arrival.
Cobbs, now 43, crashed an Aerostar airplane holding 525 pounds of cocaine - worth $24 million at the time - at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport in December 2004.
He fled the scene and paid a driver to take him to a hotel near Weirton.
The search for Cobbs ended in 2008, when federal marshals arrested him in Houston, Texas, after Mexican authorities deported him on immigration violations. A federal judge in Wheeling in 2010 sentenced him to more than 12 years in prison on the drug charges.
Last April, federal authorities said Cobbs walked away from the federal prison in Morgantown, and caught a bus to Philadelphia. Marshals later determined that Cobbs had his way to Mexico, where authorities said he moved frequently and used fake names to avoid detection.
Cobbs currently is being held in Los Angeles pending extradition to West Virginia.