(Courtesy Fairfax County police)

Authorities said they are investigating how Wesley Thomason, 39, of the Hayfield area, was able to leave the United States and live for years in an ex-patriate community near Lake Chapala in central Mexico.

“We’re not sure when he exactly went to Mexico,” said Officer Bud Walker, a Fairfax County police spokesman. “It’s clear to us this is not an individual who had the resources to cross an international border and support himself in a foreign country for so long. He either had help from another individual or had some other source of income from a criminal enterprise we are not aware of.”

Earlier this year, the Fairfax County Fugitive Task Force and the United States Marshal Service developed leads that Thomason was living in Mexico, police said.

Mexican authorities located Thomason and sent him to California in July, police said. Thomason was returned to Fairfax County on July 31.

Thomason was originally arrested in 2000 after police alleged he provided illegal drugs to underage girls and filmed himself having sex with at least two of them, police said. Thomason was illegally selling the videos, authorities said, and they said they believe there could be additional victims.

Prior to Thomason’s appearance in court, he fled Fairfax County, police said.

He is facing four charges: having carnal knowledge of an underage girl, manufacturing sexually explicit material involving a minor, possessing cocaine and taking indecent liberties, police said. He could face up to 40 years in prison, if convicted.

   Detectives are asking anyone who has information about additional victims to call police. They are also seeking information about how Thomason eluded capture for so many years.

People with tips can contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.