Sheriff announces arrest of fugitive | Canine teams help with capture

Published 7:33 am Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Bogalusa man who was wanted by local law enforcement agencies for nearly two months was arrested in the Ben’s Ford community Wednesday after an intense manhunt involving Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies with the assistance of canine teams from Rayburn Correctional Center, Sheriff Randy Seal announced Thursday.

Joseph “Joey” Lorio II, 32, was being sought on several warrants that were signed by Bogalusa City Judge Robert Black on June 6. He was entered in the National Crime Information Center database as a wanted fugitive on that date. The warrants included felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and felony contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Lorio was also being sought as a fugitive from South Carolina on probation violations, from Pearl River County, Miss. on a charge of attempted escape, and from the Bogalusa Police Department. Additional charges against him included extortion and simple battery.

After the new sheriff took office on July 1, the manhunt was intensified, according to Seal’s office.

On July 25, Lorio was spotted inside the Ben’s Creek Wildlife Management Area. Washington Parish deputies, assisted by a National Guard helicopter, spent several hours searching for the fugitive in the dense woods but were unable to locate him. Deputies did find a tent, some clothing and food wrappers, which indicated that someone had been camping in the area, according to the WPSO.

There were no more sightings of Lorio that day and since it was suspected that he had fled the area on an ATV, the search was suspended at dark.

Seal’s staff then conducted interviews with family and associates of Lorio to gain more information about his possible whereabouts. A detective who was sent to Picayune, Miss., to follow up on information that the fugitive had been in that area was able to confirm that Lorio had shopped at a Picayune store since the initial July 25 search, according to the WPSO.

The hunt continued, and on Wednesday the sheriff’s office received numerous complaints from residents in the Ben’s Ford community who reported having seen Lorio riding an ATV in the area. Deputies swarmed to the scene to begin a thorough search, and Rayburn Correctional Center responded to a request for assistance by sending canine teams.

After an exhaustive search, Washington Parish deputies Chris Galloway and Jason Garbo spotted the fugitive in the Bogue Lusa Creek, and after a brief foot chase, Lorio was apprehended, handcuffed and transported to the Washington Parish Jail.

Seal said the capture should serve as an example.

“Let this be a message to anyone who violates our laws,” he said. “We will not let you rest. We will be coming after you and we will find you. The footsteps you hear behind you will be ours.”

He commended everybody involved in the arrest.

“I can’t say enough about the efforts of all of our deputies who worked hard to take this fugitive into custody,” Seal said. “The men and women of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to enforcing all of our laws and making sure that dangerous offenders are caught and taken out of our community.

“I thank all of our deputies as well as Rayburn Correctional Center, Probation and Parole, the Franklinton Police Department, the Bogalusa Police Department, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Louisiana National Guard and all agencies which assisted in apprehending Joey Lorio.”

Lorio remains in the Washington Parish Jail with no bond.