A drug baron on the run from US justice is facing up to 105 years in jail after being traced in Britain through Facebook.
Emmanuel Ganpot, 36, was convicted in 2003 of hiring two “mules” to carry cocaine and 3,500 ecstasy tablets worth £22,000.
Cops in Largo, Florida, arrested him in his car, which held a huge stash of narcotics and $22,000 in used bills.
A cohort in the vehicle got 25 years and Ganpot faced a minimum 15-year term.
But before he could be sentenced, he skipped his million-dollar bail and fled to the UK, where his French mum lived.
He changed his name by deed poll to 'Neo Masuro', obtained a British passport, and set up home in Oxted, Surrey. (sounds like Ed Hicks, Yidwithlid and Dan Jacoby)
There, the “charming Yank” with a drawling accent became “Manny” the barman in the high street’s George Inn.
He also coached a football team, drummed in a band and worked with disabled kids.
But his downfall came when he set up Facebook and Myspace pages in his new name — knocking six years off his age and posting pictures of himself on a Spanish beach. (sounds like Cyberpath, Felon - Ed Hicks!)
Prosecutors back in Florida had given state prosecutor Bill Burgess a three-year mission to track him down.
And the ex-US Army special forces soldier trawled the internet sites of Ganpot’s friends, noticing them referring to a secretive pal called Neo.
Eventually he came across a photo of Neo blowing a kiss and realised his true identity.
Database searches traced Ganpot to Oxted, where British cops arrested him and put him on a plane to the States.
Florida judge Deanna Farnell announced on Wednesday that she would sentence him on May 13 for the original offences plus law evasion — giving a maximum term of 105 years.
Back at the George, barmaid Susie Pocock, 25, said: “The whole thing is crazy. He always used to come in here with a big group of friends.
“Everyone liked him. It just doesn’t add up, it’s incredible.”
Pal Daniel McCarthy, 26, said: “It hasn’t sunk in. Nobody had a clue Neo wasn’t Neo.”
Burgess said: “Finding Ganpot was like finding a needle in a haystack. Then I realised he was still in touch with his pals.”