Level 3 predatory offender Robert Baca made his first appearance in Becker County District Court Thursday on a felony charge of violating the state's predatory offender registration law.
Baca was charged following a Tuesday incident in which he tampered with the GPS tracking bracelet that he was required to wear as a condition of his release from prison.
Baca, 44, was released from prison on Monday and moved into a residence on the 300 block of Summit Avenue. On Tuesday, at around 3:30 p.m., he cut off the ankle bracelet and left his residence, initiating a law enforcement manhunt that lasted several hours.
Officers from all around the area came to Detroit Lakes to help. Local police and Becker County deputies received assistance from Lake Park, Audubon, Frazee, Pelican Rapids, the State Patrol, Otter Tail County and the State Department of Corrections.
Officers scoured the city and surrounding areas looking for Baca. He was finally arrested at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Pelican Rapids. By 7:40 p.m., he was being booked into the Becker County Jail.
District Court Judge Lisa Borgen set Baca's bail at $250,000. He remains in custody at the jail pending his next court appearance, at a July 12 omnibus hearing in front of District Judge Peter Irvine.
Tuesday wasn't the first time Baca had caused a stir in Detroit Lakes. The first time was in 2008, when he announced his intention to move to Detroit Lakes after serving 111 months for a 1997 conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was accused of raping a woman and threatening to kill her, according to court records.
In 2008, Baca left town almost immediately, on a bus bound for the Twin Cities, but failed to check in with Minneapolis police as required.
He was later arrested by the U.S. Marshal Service in California, and on July 23, 2009, was convicted on a felony charge of violating the predatory offender registration law. He had been in prison since that time.