March 13, 2024

Multi-state fugitive accused of sex crimes arrested by Marshals in Ocean Springs

Darkhorse Press


A man accused on multiple sex charges has been apprehended by United States Marshals in Ocean Springs.

The US Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force located James Wilkins, 51, on a construction site in Ocean Springs this morning. Wilkins was wanted out of Texas County Missouri for Statutory Sodomy with a person less than 14 years old, Attempted Statutory Sodomy with a person under 14 years old and Sexual Misconduct or attempted involving a child under 15 years old.

Wilkins is accused of sexually abusing a family member which began when that child was approximately 5 years old. These offenses were believed to have occurred between the years of 2005 and 2009. The arrest warrant for Wilkins was issued in October 2022 when the victim came forward years later. This case was delegated for apprehension to the US Marshals Service on March 5, 2024.

Wilkins was also wanted by Lauderdale County, Mississippi for 4 counts of Sexual Battery. The victim in this case isn’t the same victim from Missouri and is also under the age of 15 years old. Lauderdale County issued this warrant for Wilkins in June 2023.

Information was discovered that Wilkins was residing on the coast and possibly working for a construction company. US Marshals began canvasing an area where they believed Wilkins might be working and observed a work crew replacing a roof on Teringo Circle in Ocean Springs. Surveillance was established in the area and shortly thereafter, an individual fitting the description of Wilkins was observed working on the roof.

US Marshals ordered members of the crew to come down from the roof and Wilkins was taken into custody without incident. Wilkins was transported to the Jackson County Adult Detention Center pending his extradition to Lauderdale County and Missouri.

This was a joint effort by the US Marshals Western District of Missouri Springfield office, the GCRFTF – Gulfport / Hattiesburg offices and the Meridian Police Department in locating Wilkins.

“Anytime anyone is accused of these types of crimes, it is extremely important to take them into custody as quickly as possible,” said Jeremy Stilwell, Senior Inspector for the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. “We were able to locate James Wilkins only 8 days after receiving the case which shows the hard work and dedication which was put into finding this multi-state fugitive.”

In July of 2006, the U.S. Marshals Service established the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Full-time members of the GCRFTF consist of the: U.S. Marshals Service, The U.S. Border Patrol, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, Stone County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia Police Department and the Hattiesburg Police Department.

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