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2006 NorCal molesting suspect arrested

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A former Northern California man wanted for several years for allegedly molesting his daughter and his stepdaughter is in custody after being arrested in Mexico and returned to the United States, a sheriff's official said.

In 2006 authorities were investigating allegations that Joseph Chavez had molested the girls _ ages nine and 10 years old _ but he disappeared during the investigation, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos said Monday.

An arrest warrant was issued for Chavez in April 2008 when it was determined that he had fled the U.S., but detectives didn't know where Chavez was until getting a tip in March of 2011 that he was living somewhere outside of Mexico City, Ramos said.

With sheriff's officials, federal investigators and Mexican authorities working on finding his exact location, Chavez was finally arrested last Thursday in Cancun, Mexico, Ramos said.

Chavez, 33, formerly of Citrus Heights, a suburb of Sacramento, was returned to Sacramento County on Friday, where he's being on $250,000 bail on held on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a child under the age of 14.

Chavez is due to be arraigned Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

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