Last updated: July 25. 2014 2:50AM - 3175 Views
By - wtoler@civitasmedia.com

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ROCKINGHAM — A man wanted on federal meth lab charges has been captured after a 13-day manhunt.

John Adam Rillo, 40, of Ellerbe, was taken into custody around 2:30 p.m. Thursday and delivered to the Richmond County Jail 30 minutes later.

Richmond sheriff’s deputies say Rillo was found hiding in the edge of a pond just inside Montgomery County.

Sheriffs’ offices in Richmond, Montgomery and Moore counties teamed up with the N.C. Division of Adult Correction K-9 unit, the N.C. Highway Patrol — which also used a helicopter in the search — and police from Candor and Troy.

As deputies walked Rillo from a patrol car into the jail, one was heard singing the words “Welcome home.”

Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr. has scheduled a news conference to discuss the Rillo case at 10 a.m. Friday at the sheriff’s office.

A manhunt lasting nearly two weeks ensued after deputies say Rillo escaped while Deputy C. H. Bynum of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was trying to handcuff him July 11. Rillo was being arrested on a four-count federal indictment in connection to a December meth lab bust.

Deputies say Rillo took off running through a dog kennel and the dogs stopped Bynum during the foot chase.

Warrants for Rillo’s arrest state that he broke into Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church in Ellerbe “with the intent to commit a larceny” at some point while on the run.

The federal indictment, filed June 30, charges Rillo with possession of pseudoephedrine, maintaining a dwelling for manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of numerous chemicals and supplies used to make meth and possession of stolen firearms.

According to warrants, Rillo is charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting a public officer and misdemeanor larceny, for stealing the handcuffs when he ran. He is also charged with a felony count of breaking and entering a place of worship.

Court records show Rillo is facing state charges similar to those in the federal indictment with the addition of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Rillo also has pending misdemeanor charges of domestic trespassing and stalking.

Deputies say Rillo will likely face additional charges from Montgomery County.

Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.

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