MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The United States Marshals Service (USMS) arrested Leon M. Sturgis, a fugitive wanted for numerous sex offenses, in Barbour County, Alabama, on Thursday. Sturgis was wanted by the Monroe County (NY) Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) for rape, two counts of criminal sex act, sexual abuse, and criminal obstruction of breathing. Sturgis’ victim was a 7-year-old child.
The U.S. Marshal Service found Hartwell in Norfolk.
The MCSD requested assistance from the USMS in Rochester, New York who developed information indicating Sturgis, in an attempt to elude law enforcement, recently fled New York and was believed to be staying with associates in Barbour County, Alabama. Investigators with the USMS Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (GCRFTF) were requested to assist in locating and apprehending Sturgis.
Information was developed by GCRFTF Investigators indicating Sturgis was staying at a residence in Clayton, Alabama. During a search of the residence, Sturgis was found hiding under a bed. He was subsequently arrested and transported to the Barbour County Jail where he is being held pending extradition to New York.
Arthur Baylor, U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Alabama (M/AL), explained the Deputy U.S. Marshals (DUSM) and Investigators from state and local partner agencies assigned to the task force are dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the task force, to make our communities a safer place. “This arrest is just another example of why our U.S. Congress created this fugitive task force to rid our streets of violent offenders and sexual predators,” he said. “The U.S. Marshals Service has fugitive investigators who cover every city, town, and rural area in this country.”
The GCRFTF is comprised of state and local law enforcement officers from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, who work directly in conjunction with DUSMs in order to apprehend state and local violent offender and sexual predators. The Montgomery Division of the GCRFTF consists of law enforcement officers from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama Beverage Control Board, Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, Montgomery Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Alex City Police Department, Dothan Police Department, Houston County Sheriff’s Department, Elmore County Sheriff’s Department, Dale County Sheriff’s Department, and Phenix City Police Department.