ALEXANDRIA, Va. – U.S. Marshals stopped a two-time convicted sex offender who was en route to California via train early Friday morning.
39-year-old William “Andy” Hemphill was arrested on an outstanding federal arrest warrant after three weeks on the run.
A federal arrest warrant for Hemphill was issued out of the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, charging him with violating the terms of his supervised release. Hemphill was on court-ordered supervised release for a 2006 conviction for possession of child pornography.
Marshals then began looking for Hemphill, who last reported his residence as a Motel 6 in Springfield, Virginia.
On Thursday night, officials were alerted that Hemphill was on board an Amtrak train that was bound for Emeryville, California, after boarding in Winter Park, Colorado. Marshals in Alexandria contacted authorities in Utah with this information and developed a plan to intercept Hemphill while he was on the train.
Undercover task force members of the U.S. Marshals Utah-based Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (VFAST) boarded the train in Provo, Utah. While the train was on its way from Provo to Salt Lake City, authorities identified Hemphill as a sleeping passenger on the train but did not immediately take him into custody.
With the assistance of Amtrak personnel, Hemphill was taken into custody without incident once the train stopped at the Salt Lake City station around 2 a.m. Friday. He remains in the custody of U.S. Marshals in Salt Lake City.