Bradford was last released on parole on December 8, 1978, and had been absconding parole since September 15, 1980. In early 2011 Region III CPAT discovered that Bradford was possibly using the name, "James Edward Heard." Further investigation revealed that Heard owned several properties in the Pasadena area including a high-end drug rehabilitation center called Eaton Canyon Treatment Center. Subsequently, a fingerprint comparison of Bradford’s prison fingerprint card and Heard’s Department of Motor Vehicles fingerprints by the Whitter Police Department confirmed that James Edward Heard was in fact, PAL Richard Bradford.
In February 2011, Region III CPAT was contacted by Bradford’s attorney in an effort to negotiate Bradford's surrender as he was now aware that CPAT was actively looking for him. Bradford's attorney requested that Bradford be given some time to turn himself in to DAPO. He never turned himself in and Region III CPAT continued efforts to locate Bradford. However, investigative efforts for approximately two years were met with negative results.
Information was received off and on that Bradford was in the Pasadena area but keeping a very low profile in an effort to avoid apprehension, as he was aware that CPAT was continually checking for him. Bradford transferred the control of all of his businesses to a trust, all credit cards were in the name of the treatment center as well as all vehicles. All financial aspects of Bradford's alias, James Heard, were placed in a trust, and there was little activity under the name of "James Heard."
Finally on March 10, 2013, while conducting surveillance, CPAT agents observed Bradford and his wife leave their home. CPAT agents followed them to a Home Depot store in Monrovia. CPAT agents moved in and took them both into custody without incident as they exited their vehicle. Bradford’s wife was arrested for being a felon in possession of pepper spray, and was booked into the Monrovia City Jail. A search of Bradford's residence produced documentation for James Heard and Richard Bradford.
James Edward Heard was created with a false birth certificate in Alameda County in 1977 and a social security card was issued to this individual in 1978 during the time that Bradford was still in state prison. Bradford began using the name James Heard off and on beginning in the mid 1980’s, and by 1992 Richard Bradford disappeared on paper.
Fortunately Region III CPAT continued their efforts and was successful in bringing this PAL to justice after over 32 years of absconding parole supervision.