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A sex offender wanted on warrants in Napa and Sonoma counties was arrested in Mexico on Friday, a Napa County sheriff’s captain said today. William Buchholz, 79, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service outside of Mazatlan, Mexico. He was transported to Los Angeles County Jail and is expected to be arrive in Napa County later this week, sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart said. Buchholz was wanted in Napa County for failing to register as a sex offender and update his address annually, Stuart said. In Sonoma County, Superior Court records show Buchholz was charged with two counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 on June 1, 2007. The complaint against him was filed on March 5, 2009, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The Napa County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Buchholz’s wife Joan, 75, of St. Helena, in April after learning that she was financially supporting her husband in Mexico, Stuart said. Napa County sheriff’s detectives and St. Helena police searched Joan Buchholz’s home and found evidence that she was in contact with her husband, Stuart said. Stuart said Buchholz was using credit cards to live in Mexico and his wife was paying the bills. Detectives contacted the U.S. Marshals Service and turned over financial documents that contained Buchholz’s location in Mexico, Stuart said.
Arrest warrants were issued in June in Napa County against William Buchholz for failing to register as a sex offender, and against Joan Buchholz for being an accessory to a crime, Stuart said. Joan Buchholz surrendered on June 28 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month. Detectives believe Buchholz fled the United States in 2008 to avoid being prosecuted for the alleged sex crimes in Sonoma County, Stuart said.
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