ANCHORAGE -

A former Florida sheriff accused of evading arrest for decades by hiding out in Alaska now faces federal weapons charges.

Joseph Keenan May, 60, was once a deputy sheriff in Manatee County, Fla., but in 1993 while awaiting trial for capital sexual battery charges he allegedly took off for Alaska to dodge a trial.

May assumed the identity of a deceased step-brother, and until June 20 he avoided attention of law enforcement.

But the plan fell apart when the Social Security Administration caught on and sent a Federal Bureau of Investigation tactical team to make an arrest in his Eagle River home.

On July 16, May was also charged with unlawfully possessing firearms while a fugitive from justice, unlawful possession of unregistered explosive devices and accused of lying in an application for a federal firearms license.

May faces as many as 39 years in prison on the federal charges in Alaska, and he potentially faces life imprisonment in Florida.