McAfee crossed into Guatemala to evade authorities in Belize who want to question him in connection with the murder of his neighbor. There is no international arrest warrant for McAfee.
McAfee's Guatemala attorney confirmed the arrest to ABC News.
Before McAfee's arrest, he told ABC News in an exclusive interview he would be seeking asylum in Guatemala. McAfee was arrested for illegal entry by Guatemala's immigration police and not the national police, said his attorney, who was confident his client would be released within hours.
"Thank God I am in a place where there is some sanity," said McAfee, 67, before his arrest. "I chose Guatemala carefully."
McAfee said that in Guatemala, people aren't surprised when he says the Belizean government is out to kill him.
"Instead of going, 'You're crazy,' they go, 'Yeah, of course they are,'" he said. "It's like, finally, I understand people who understand the system here."
McAfee said he has not ruled out moving back to the United States, where he made his fortune as the inventor of anti-virus software, and that despite losing much of his fortune he still has more than he could ever spend.
In his interview with ABC, McAfee called the media's portrayal of him a "nightmare that is about to explode," and said he's prepared to prove his sanity.
McAfee has been on the run from police in Belize since the Nov. 10 murder of his neighbor, fellow American expatriate Greg Faull.
During his three weeks on the run, said McAfee, he disguised himself as handicapped, dyed his hair seven times and hid in many places.
He dismissed accounts of erratic behavior and reports that he had been using bath salts. He said he had never used the drug, and said statements that he had were part of an elaborate prank.