NAPLES — The law finally caught up with Douglas Elmore Brenner in a Homestead motel Tuesday.
“If you are out there and you’re a criminal alien, we’re going to find you,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Resident Agent in Charge Brendan Quigley on Friday. “We’re going to keep looking for you until we track you down.”
Brenner, a Canadian national, had been evading law enforcement for more than 20 years and is wanted by the Waterloo Regional Police in Canada for sexual assault on a juvenile under 14. He entered the U.S. in 1984 and assumed the identity of a deceased man in 1986.
Quigley said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents and officers from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the Homestead Police Department in a joint operation nabbed Brenner.
According to Collier County Detective Thomas Cullen, the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from Brenner’s former roommate that he’d been hiding in Collier County for the past 15 years.
“He was able to get a hold of a birth certificate from another subject that lived out of state and had died,” said Cullen, adding that Brenner kept under the radar during his time in Collier and had no criminal record.
Shortly after the investigation started, Brenner fled the area.
“He obviously felt that somebody was going to be looking for him at this point,” said Cullen. “He certainly had some skeletons in his closet that he didn’t want out there.”
Collier Sheriff’s officials reached out to ICE for help tracking Brenner down.
“They contacted us and provided us the information on the subject,” said Quigley adding that ICE’s ongoing partnership with the Sheriff’s Office played a role.
The federal agency tracked Brenner to the Caribe hotel, 841 North Krome Avenue in Homestead.
“When he was located he surrendered himself peacefully,” said Quigley. “We knew we had the right man.”
Brenner has been charged with being illegally in the county, and will soon be going before an immigration judge. If ordered deported, Brenner will be turned over to Canadian authorities based on an outstanding arrest warrant.
Brenner is being held at the Krome Detention Center in Miami where he will await the outcome of his case.