Accused child molester caught after international manhunt

Published: May. 13, 2009 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM EDT
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Jared Yaffe
Jared Yaffe

NAITONAL (NBC) - A man accused of running a child pornography ring by contracting with babysitters to bring him children he eventually molested has been captured in Brazil and returned to the United States to face charges.

Law enforcement agents escorted Jared Yaffe off a plane in Atlanta, Georgia.

Investigators say the 30-year-old San Diego resident paid babysitter Aaron Zendejas to let him molest and take pictures and videos of children in Zendejas' care.

Last October, after police started to close in, Yaffe disappeared.

U.S. Marshals say Yaffe traveled from San Diego to Charlotte, North Carolina, and then took a plane to Frankfurt, Germany.

He eventually went to Romania, and in late March ended up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Federal agents say they were able to track Yaffe because he never changed his identity, in other words, he never used an alias.

In fact, they say he used his own passport to travel.

"Some of these locations we were right behind him, just missed him, but we were able to locate him in Brazil," said U.S. Marshal George Venables.

Agents say when Yaffe was taken into custody on Monday at a Brazilian hotel.

Local officers accused him of preying on children in their country, too.

Yaffe was never charged in Brazil and that's why he's on his way back to San Diego to face charges there, which could put him behind bars for life.

Federal agents say 30-year-old Yaffe may have been planning to live in Brazil, because he applied for citizenship.

In San Diego he faces 17 counts of child sexual assault and kidnapping, and 100 years to life if convicted on all counts.

Yaffe was profiled on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" in April.