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Man who escaped from federal prison in 1997 arrested

An inmate who disappeared 20 years ago from a federal prison in Pennsylvania is set to be returned to the state for arraignment on an escape charge. (AP photo)

ERIE, Pa. -- An inmate who disappeared 20 years ago from a federal prison in Pennsylvania is set to be returned to the state for arraignment on an escape charge.

The Erie Times-News reports that 66-year-old Ghassan Saleh was arrested last month after flying into New York from Lebanon, his native country. Deputy U.S. Marshal Chad Sensor says Saleh was aware that he was wanted when he decided to return to the country.

Saleh was working on a grounds crew when he escaped from the federal prison near Bradford in 1997. He had been serving a sentence of almost six years after being convicted of cocaine trafficking in Michigan.

Saleh is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Erie on Dec. 19. He is currently being held in New York.

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