"Missing Swimmer" Arrested in Yuma

By Michelle Wayland and Michael Gehlken
|  Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011  |  Updated 2:58 PM PDT
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A Massachusetts man who was reported missing off the coast of La Jolla over the weekend was arrested Wednesday in Yuma, according to U.S. Marshals.

Jim Repetto, 54, was reported missing Saturday in San Diego after going for a swim.

San Diego police entered the search for Repetto after discovering he was wanted on a federal warrant related to his guilty plea in a $1-million phony billing scheme at the Ocean Spray Cranberries plant where he was manager.

“Repetto was released and awaiting sentencing on the federal charges. Repetto failed to abide by the terms of his release resulting in the issuance of a federal warrant,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Keara Price.

Repetto is charged with crimes that include fraud and attempting to intimidate a witness.

Repetto, from Sandwich, Mass., was reported missing at about 6 p.m. Saturday after being over an hour overdue when attempting to swim from the Scripps Pier to the La Jolla shores lifeguard tower.

The 53-year-old was in San Diego on business, according to his wife. Police say he was having lunch with a friend in La Jolla on Saturday. The last time she saw him, he was heading into the water, wearing a wetsuit.

In response, the Coast Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, a 33-foot response boat and Coast Guard Cutter Haddock -- an 87-foot patrol boat -- to assist in the search.

San Diego Lifeguards and the Fire-Rescue Department also searched Saturday night but suspended the search Sunday.

Authorities tracked Repetto to a Yuma address Wednesday morning and made the arrest.

“He was transported to the U.S. District Court for his initial appearance and will be waiting extradition to Boston,” said Price.

Repetto is facing more than 60 years in prison. He was supposed to be sentenced in January, but his sentencing was postponed due to a car fire.

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