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Alleged Drug Kingpin Arrested in Central Florida After Having Assumed Another's Identity For More Than 35 Years

On November 30, 2020, a criminal complaint was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida charging Howard Darwin Farley for fraudulently obtaining a U.S. passport using the identity of a deceased child. Farley is also alleged to have fraudulently obtained and exercised the privileges of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot’s certificate.
On December 2, Farley was arrested at his home on a private airstrip in Weirsdale, Florida. Farley’s fingerprints confirmed that he had been wanted in Nebraska since 1985.
In 1985, Farley and 73 others were indicted in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska for a narcotics conspiracy. It was alleged that Farley was the drug kingpin of the Southern Line, a railroad line used by drug dealers to distribute narcotics throughout the United States. Records show that Farley was not apprehended, assumed the identity of a deceased individual, and remained a fugitive for 35 years.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Department of State-Diplomatic Security Service, Social Security Administration (SSA)-OIG, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Sheriff’s Office of Marion County, Florida.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.