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Fugitive sex offender who ditched MN halfway house arrested out of state

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A Minnesota sex offender who became a fugitive last month has been apprehended in Illinois.

Rico Rondo Rodriguez fled the Minneapolis halfway house he was living in after cutting off his GPS monitoring device on Oct. 26, triggering a manhunt for the 34-year-old, according to a Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) news release.

Authorities say he has a lengthy criminal record and was convicted in 2003 of "criminal sexual conduct" involving an underage girl. In the years since, he's also been convicted of failing to register as a predatory offender, the release notes.

His escape from the halfway house comes about two months after his release from prison for prior offenses.

After 10 days on the run, Rodriguez was tracked down in Belleville, Illinois, and arrested on Thursday, the department reports. His car had been found outside a local apartment building by Belleville Police.

Rodriguez is a Level 3 Predatory Offender. Such offenders are considered at "the highest risk to re-offend," and communities where they move after getting out of prison are notified by law enforcement of their arrival, the Department of Corrections says.

It is not clear why he fled to Illinois.

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