Saturday, 2:15 PM
After 21 years, fugitive arrested in drug case
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
A Virginia man made a big mistake when he allegedly pointed a laser pointer at some police officers. They decided to charge him and, during the process, realized that he was wanted in Boston on drug charges dating back 21 years, law enforcement officials said today.
Efremidis's 1998 booking photo
Elias Efremidis, 52, was arrested by police in the small town of Front Royal, Va., after they learned his true identity, said Front Royal Police Sergeant Jason Ryman.
"If you have major issues in your past, you can run from them but at some point, they're going to catch up to you," Ryman said.
Efremidis was arrested Feb. 26, 1988 after two kilograms of cocaine were found in his room at the Susse Chalet in Dorchester. Police also seized an electronic scale, a beeper, and $4,000 in cash, Suffolk prosecutors said.
At his arraignment later that day, prosecutors asked for $500,000 cash bail. The judge set bail at $25,000. Efremidis posted that amount and did not appear at a March 25 hearing. Police were unable to locate him after that.
"Access to large amounts of cash shouldn't allow a defendant to escape justice, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement today. "The reason we seek high bails in drug trafficking cases is the incentive to flee the charges. Mr. Efremidis learned the hard way that you can run, but you can't hide from this office."
Front Royal is a community of about 15,000 people, 70 miles west of Washington, D.C. Ryman said Efremidis's daughter owned a well-known restaurant and lounge in the center of town.
Ryman said Efremidis is being held in the Warren County jail and has waived extradition. He said he didn't know why Efremidis allegedly pointed the laser at the officers.
Conley said he would dispatch detectives from his office to bring Efremidis back to Boston within the next 10 days.
Neither Efremidis's Virginia attorney nor his Massachusetts attorney immediately returned telephone messages seeking comment.