Marshals catch county fugitive

By Melody Vallieu

DAYTON — After nearly six years on the run, a Miami County sex offender fugitive was apprehended Wednesday by Deputy U.S. Marshals in Toombs County, Ga.

Jason Perkins of Ludlow Falls was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 1996 and required to register as a sex offender. He was living and registered in Miami County until 2009, when he disappeared. Deputy marshals got involved in 2010 when Miami County investigators obtained information that Perkins fled the state.

Since 2010, marshals and sheriff deputies conducted dozens of interviews, responded to dozens of anonymous tips, and sent multiple leads to other marshals around the country. Marshals were led to believe Perkins was armed, prepared to avoid apprehension at all costs, and at one point reportedly threatened to cut an officer’s throat.

“He’s manage to really stay off the grid and use a lot of assumed names,” Miami County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dave Duchak said. “At one point he was in jail in Colorado, using an assumed name. He was using a Hispanic name, red hair and all. … He was released before we found out.”

Duchak said the sheriff’s office had received tips over the years that Perkins had returned to the area to visit his mom, but were not able to catch up with him during those times.

The investigation made headway last year when authorities discovered a string of fake identities and aliases Perkins was using to stay off the grid. Marshals in Dayton pieced together the final bit of information and determined a probable location in Georgia. With the assistance of the U.S. Marshals led South East Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF), deputies tracked Perkins to a location in Toombs County, where he was arrested without incident. Marshals in Georgia are seeking federal failure to register charges against Perkins under the Adam Walsh Act.

Perkins will remain in Toombs County until either charged by federal authorities or be extradited back to Miami County.

Duchak said Perkins also has a felony non-support charge he faces in Miami County if and when he is brought back to the county.

SOFAST is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Dayton Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Wright State University Police, Greeneville Police Department, Grandview Hospital Police Department, Oakwood Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Springboro Police Department.

The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s primary fugitive hunting organization and captures more federal fugitives each year than all other law enforcement agencies combined.

“I just can’t compliment our detective Jim Wysong, who has followed this case for all of these years, and the marshals enough for this,” Duchak said.

With Perkins in federal custody, Duchak said every Miami County sex offender is accounted for at this time, an accomplishment he said he and Sheriff Charles Cox are extremely proud of with the help of the sheriff’s office staff.

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