Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 30, 2013

Mercer County fugitive arrested in North Carolina


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD —  A Mercer County man who allegedly caused the evacuation of a federal courthouse after he mailed his home-confinement bracelet there has been arrested in North Carolina.

Investigators began searching for Michael Cunningham, 51, after the Elizabeth Kee Federal Building in downtown Bluefield was evacuated in September. Cunningham was on home confinement and facing charges of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretenses.

Supervisors at the Rutherford County Detention Center in North Carolina confirmed Monday that Cunningham had been taken into custody Sunday. In North Carolina, he is facing multiple charges of failure to appear in court. Cunningham is currently jailed in lieu of a $48,500 bond.

Cunningham allegedly mailed his home confinement bracelet to the federal building in Mercer County where an X-ray detector sensed the presence of electronic equipment. Officers with the Mercer County Day Report Center had been notified that Cunningham had removed his monitoring device, investigators said at the time of the incident.

The Bluefield Police Department detoured traffic away from downtown Bluefield until troopers with the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment were able to examine the package and determine that it contained a home-confinement device.