Michigan Pharmacist Caught Allegedly Pocketing Pills Is Discovered to be Fugitive on the Run 50 Years: FBI

Mugshots for Leonard Moses, 68, taken in 2020 and 1968
Genesee County Sheriff's Office/ FBI

A fugitive who escaped from prison and was on the lam for nearly 50 years for the 1968 murder of a woman was captured by the Pittsburg FBI.  Leonard Rayne Moses, now 68, was 15 when he and several others threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Bennett Street home on April 6, 1968, during the unrest that followed the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mary Amplo, 72, was inside the home at the time. She died from injuries sustained in the attack about three months later, the Pittsburg Tribune reported. 

Moses had been on the run since 1971. Moses was serving a life sentence. He was listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List when he escaped from custody while on a furlough to attend his grandmother’s funeral.

FBI agent Michael Christman, who runs the bureau's Pittsburgh office, said on Friday that Moses had been living under the name Paul Dickson and had been working as a traveling pharmacist, at least since 1999. He was arrested Thursday at his home in Grand Blanc, Michigan, the news outlet reported. 

Christman said he hopes the arrest brings some closure to the family members of Amplo after all these years. 

“Mr. Moses will now have to face justice for her murder,” said Christman.

The case was reopened in 2016 when the FBI had tried to generate interest by interviewing family members and associates. After chasing nearly 2,000 leads, they were still unable to learn Moses’ whereabouts, Fox 13 reported.

But then earlier this year, the manager of a CVS in St. Clair Shores, Michigan discovered Moses had allegedly pocketed 80 Hydrocodone pills while he was working in the pharmacy, the Tribune reported. 

Moses, under the alias of Dickson, was charged with embezzling $43.20, the cost of the pills, the newspaper reported. 

He allegedly admitted to stealing the pills and claimed he threw them out of his car while driving home that night, WJRT reported.

On Oct. 28, he went to the police station for a mug shot and to have his fingerprints taken. The fingerprints, run through an FBI database, matched those taken from Moses when he was arrested in 1968, authorities said.

After authorities determined Dickson’s alleged true identity as Moses, the FBI Detroit Fugitive Task Force arrested him without incident at his home in Grand Blanc Township, Michigan on Thursday, WJRT reported. 

Moses remained in the Genesee County Jail on Friday while awaiting extradition back to Pennsylvania.

"We’ve never forgotten about this case,” said Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen at the Friday press conference outside the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office.

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