Fugitive sex offender found near Mexico border

PORT ANGELES — A 40-year-old sex offender wanted for failing to report to authorities as required allegedly stole two vehicles on his way to being caught Thursday in New Mexico near the Mexican border.

Chief Deputy Brian King of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that Joshua Michael Mirka has at least nine felony convictions, including third-degree rape in 1997 and indecent liberties in 1998.

Mirka has been a registered sex offender in Clallam County for “many years,” registering at different times as a transient and with a fixed address, King said.

Mirka’s own vehicle was recovered after it was abandoned in the Sequim-Dungeness area July 9 following a deputy’s high-speed chase of the driver at about 12:30 a.m.

A deputy had attempted to pull over the driver for speeding when the driver sped off, instigating a 70-mph chase before the deputy discontinued the pursuit. The deputy found Mirka’s truck a short time later, King said.

Mirka failed to report his location to authorities July 18 as required, King said.

King said Mirka and his girlfriend spent the night of July 18 with a former co-worker of Mirka’s, borrowing the person’s truck for what Mirka said would be an hour so his girlfriend could visit her children.

Later reported stolen, the Ford F-150 pickup was recovered July 22 abandoned in Manteca, Calif., King said.

The Luna County, N.M., Sheriff’s Office contacted Clallam County authorities Thursday to report Mirka was in their custody after he was arrested near the Mexican border in a suspected stolen vehicle, King said.

A Luna County Sheriff’s Office spokesman was unable to provide details on the stop early Friday evening.

King said late Friday that Mirka may be extradited to Clallam County but faces potential charges in New Mexico and California that could keep him from returning to the North Olympic Peninsula for some time.

“Eventually he could be extradited, depending on all the stuff he’s done down there,” King said.

“Those are pretty harsh jurisdictions, especially in New Mexico.

“They are much more conservative jurisdictions as far as charging and sentencing, so it might be awhile.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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