- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A fugitive drug dealer from upstate New York has been hiding out in rural Oregon for more than two decades, authorities said.

But police said they were tipped off to his location recently when he applied for government benefits.

John Franklin Forbis, 72, was arrested Thursday at his home on Deadwood Road west of Eugene in the Coast Range, Sgt. Carrie Carver of the Lane County sheriff’s office said.

He had been using an alias in Oregon, but he applied for benefits using his real name, police said.

Forbis was wanted on a warrant. Authorities say he skipped out on a court appearance after he was arrested for having 850 pounds of marijuana. Forbis was involved in smuggling drugs from Texas to New York, Carver said.

A news account from 1992 says Forbis was captured in what at the time was one of upstate New York’s biggest marijuana busts. It said Forbis was released on $150,000 bail prior to trial; he then vanished without a trace.

Even though he wasn’t in the courtroom, a jury in Columbia County, New York, convicted Forbis in 1992 of a drug charge. He was found guilty of first-degree possession of marijuana, a Class A felony, the news account said.

Before his arrest in New York, Forbis had lived in Oregon and Texas.

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