Kansas City, MO – U.S. Marshal Mark S. James, Western District
of Missouri announced today the capture of a wanted, non-compliant sex
offender from Jackson County in Mexico.
John L. Phelps was
charged in Jackson County, MO with statutory sodomy and child
molestation in July 2008. In 2009 he was convicted and sentenced to 6
years incarceration and classified as a Tier III sex offender requiring
him to register for life.
Phelps was released from prison in
2014, returning to Jackson County and by 2016, he had stopped reporting
to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office as required by law. Investigators
with the Oak Grove Police Department investigated new allegations
against Phelps and in June 2019 he was charged in Jackson County with
one count of sodomy, two counts of incest and one count of statutory
rape of a child under 14 years old.
Phelps could not be located
to answer the new charges so the Oak Grove Police Department requested
the assistance of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office who is partnered
with the U.S. Marshals Service to seek out and arrest wanted
non-compliant sex offenders and other fugitives charged with serious and
violent crimes. Task force investigators would soon discover that Phelps
had already fled to Mexico, eventually narrowing his location down to
San Luis Potosi′ City.
On July 16, 2019 after coordination
through the U.S. Marshals Service foreign field office in Mexico City
and the FBI assistant legal attache´, Mexican authorities took Phelps
into custody without incident. He was deported early the next morning
back to the United States due to entering Mexico illegally and was
handed over to Deputy Marshals in Houston. Phelps was then lodged with
local authorities in Harris County, TX awaiting extradition back to
Missouri. “This capture would not have happened without the tremendous
cooperative effort by our law enforcement partners,” James said.
The U.S. Marshals Midwest Violent Fugitive Task Force-Kansas City
division, operates in conjunction with members of the Kansas City
Missouri Police Department, Independence Missouri Police Department,
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, FBI, ATF
and other state and federal law enforcement partners. The task force
objectives are to seek out and arrest fugitives charged with violent
crimes, drug offenses, sex offenders and other serious felonies as well
as the investigation and recovery of missing and exploited children.
Nationally the United States Marshals Service fugitive programs are
carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local
fugitive task forces, 7 regional task forces, as well as a growing
network of offices in foreign countries.
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