BANGKOK, Thailand — An American man wanted in Texas on child sex abuse charges was arrested Thursday in Thailand and could be sent to the U.S. within days, the district attorney's office in Houston said.
Confirming Thai reports, the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office said it was "aware" that Darren Ray Castleberry, 41, had been arrested in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
Scott Durfee, a spokesman for the office, told The Associated Press by phone from Houston that the process was already under way to extradite Castleberry to the United States, where he faces charges that could have him imprisoned for life.
"He could be on American soil as quickly as two days from now," said Durfee. who added that the prosecutor handling the case was well-versed in bringing back suspects from overseas and was ready to act "aggressively" on the matter.
Extradition can be a lengthy legal process in Thai courts, but the suspect can instead agree to be sent back or may simply be expelled by Thai authorities.
Castleberry is sought on four charges of aggravated sexual assault against a child, each of which carries a penalty of not less than five years and up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine, said Durfee. The charge applies to sexual assault on a child younger than 14 years of age.
He also faces two charges of sexual assault on a child between the ages of 14 and 17, for which the penalty is not less than two years and up to 20 years in prison, Durfee said.
The Web site of the Thai newspaper The Nation said Castleberry was arrested at a shop in Bangkok.
It cited police saying Castleberry had fled to Thailand in late 2006, and was being held at the Immigration Bureau jail.
Thai police contacted late Thursday by the AP were unfamiliar with the case.
Several Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are popular with sex offenders and fugitives because of lax law enforcement and corruption in the justice system.