CLEARWATER – Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force, initially pursuing a tip on an America’s Most Wanted case, conducted a separate and unrelated investigation that led to the Jan. 9 arrest of two fugitives from Pennsylvania.
The investigation led deputies to the Flamingo Motel, 1806 N. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, where they made contact with a subject, later identified Victor J. Santarelli, 46. Santarelli told deputies he had no identification and provided deputies with multiple dates of birth.
Investigators asked Santarelli to provide fingerprints and have a photograph taken to be run through the Sheriff’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System and Facial Recognition System. The subject was cooperative and agreed to do so. No matches were found in Florida.
Deputies subsequently contacted the FBI to review the national database; and the individual was identified as Santarelli, who was wanted by authorities in Pennsylvania.
Detectives and members of SES subsequently arrested the suspect; and his wife Tamara Santarelli, 44, who also had an outstanding warrant from Pennsylvania.
The two were transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident. According to detectives, the two were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the estate of a deceased aunt, and mail and wire fraud.