Florida fugitive found in Maggie

By DeeAnna Haney | Jul 21, 2014

Maggie Valley police recently arrested a man who has been hiding out in the county for the past two years to avoid drug trafficking warrants out of Collier County, Florida.

Allan Paul Picotte, 55, has been wanted in Florida since September 2012, when he failed to appear in court in Collier County for trafficking in illegal drugs.

Last week, Maggie officers investigated a tip that Picotte was house sitting for a family in town, said Sgt. Russ Gilliland. When police arrived, he was cooperative with the arrest.

Picotte admitted he had been in the Maggie Valley area for two years, sleeping in his car and in tents. Gilliland said last week was the first time police had any encounter with the man.

"He said he knew Eric Rudolph had hid out up here and he thought it would be a good place to go," Gilliland said.

Officers who assisted with the fugitive warrant included Brennan Mehaffey, Jeff Mackey, Det. Archie Shuler from the Maggie Valley Police Department and Deputy Keith Beasley from the Haywood County Sheriff's Office.

Picotte is currently in custody at the Haywood County Detention Center awaiting extradition.