DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit man on the run since 2018 is back in custody. Willie Wright was wanted by the US Marshals and was captured Wednesday on Detroit’s east side.
The case started to go cold until a tip came in to the Marshals of Wright's location. The Marshals went to where he was hiding and found him hiding in a wall.
“(He was) just terrorizing the city of Detroit,” said US marshal deputy Aaron Garcia.
Garcia says Wright would rob prominent businesses in downtown Detroit. In 2017, Wright was caught and sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison. That’s when he took off. In 2018, Wright was featured on Detroit's Most Wanted.
Later that year, Wright was caught and arrested in Indiana. But an error with paperwork during extradition led to an accidental release.
“The county jail in Indiana and the county jail in Michigan, I’m not sure exactly the details; there was an administration error and he was eventually released,” Garcia said.
Wright would stay low for two years and the case would get a little cold. But a tip alerted US Marshals that Wright was back in Detroit on the east side. That’s when they moved in.
“We saw him enter into a house which is a known house – a family member's house – and eventually we made contact at the location,” Garcia said.
But the search for Wright was really just beginning. When US Marshals searched the home the first and second time, they couldn’t find him. It was the third search, that’s when they found something that just didn’t look right.
“There was one spot in the bathroom," Garcia said. "It looks like a wall where the plumbing would be, but we couldn’t get in it. You couldn’t open it up so, we were going to breach it with the halligan tool. At that time we started to breach it, he surrenders and comes out and says, you guys got me."
Now it’s up to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to decide if they will charge Wright with any additional charges. The US Marshals say they are also looking into charges against the family for harboring a fugitive.
This article was written by Alan Campbell for WXYZ.