In many South Florida cases, people officially listed as wanted by authorities aren't being pursued at all, and if they are found, might not be arrested, says the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Broward and Palm Beach counties have a combined 275,000 active arrest warrants, an enormous number that law enforcement says far exceeds their ability to find and apprehend. Sheriff's officials prioritize who they look for, starting with new warrants for serious crimes, and move on to the next case once leads are exhausted.
The Sun Sentinel searched for wanted people who have been missing the longest, and found some living openly in other states for decades, including the Rev. Joenathan Hunter Sr. Wanted for 33 years in a Broward felony larceny case, Hunter is now a well-known pastor in Delaware and national advocate for adoption. Reached at his home, he said he has made no attempt to hide. The long arm of the law has reached only to the state line. Prosecutors have made the cost-benefit calculation that it isn't worth the expense of retrieving them from another state to face charges in Florida. Aaron Kennard, executive director of the National Sheriffs' Association, said the backlog of open warrants is a problem nationwide, and includes old crimes that make little sense to prosecute now.