When Alexander Tishchenko jumped his bail bond, he jumped far. Faced with a 5-year, 4-month prison sentence and a court summons after his appeal case was denied, the 28-year-old did the opposite of turning himself in.
He fled to Paris.
Tishchenko was caught dealing meth in 2007 out of a Safeway parking lot as part of a police sting operation, according to Clark County court documents. Police sent a known drug addict to purchase meth from Tishchenko while officers waited in the parking lot, watching for the exchange. Over the next few years, Tishchenko fought the case, lost and filed an appeal. He lost the appeal and when he failed to return to court in June 2011, the court issued a warrant for his arrest.
He was nowhere to be found — locally.
"I've never had someone leave the country," said David Regan, bail enforcement agent and owner of Regan Bail Bonds. He footed the entire bill, nearly $20,000, to help locate and bring back Tishchenko.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Leland Rakoz confirmed through Homeland Security that Tishchenko flew out of New York City on a one-way flight to Paris.
Regan chatted with Tishchenko online through a fake Internet dating profile of an attractive Russian girl to learn more about where he was and what he was doing. Through the profile, they found he was traveling back and forth between Ukraine and France. He worked as a transporter and often posted pictures of guns and money, Regan said.
They also discovered he was a fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, aka the "Muscles from Brussels," the fighter and action-movie actor who was once sued for willfully gouging the eye of an extra during a sword fight.
Rakoz put an Interpol Red Notice on Tishchenko's passport, the closest thing to an international arrest warrant. Interpol is a global police agency with 190 member countries, allowing police to collaborate all over the world.
When Tishchenko attempted to go through customs on May 10 in Poland, the red notice popped up and he was taken into custody. Rakoz worked with the Office of International Affairs to translate court documents and affidavits into Polish, so Tishchenko could be deported. He remained in Polish jail for more than six months before Rakoz could retrieve him.
"By the time we got over there and picked him up, he was actually happy to see us and happy to get out of the Polish jails," Rakoz said.
Tishchenko's time spent behind bars in Poland will not count toward his time at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, said deputy prosecuting attorney Jim David.
Regan paid $15,874 to send Rakoz to retrieve Tishchenko and $3,155 to translate court documents from English to Polish. Otherwise, Alexander Tishchenko could have been traveling abroad indefinitely.