Oak Grove man wanted for incest and statutory rape captured in Mexico

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Oak Grove, Missouri man wanted for multiple warrants including incest and statutory rape has been captured in Mexico.

U.S. Marshal Mark S. James announced the capture of 40-year-old John L. Phelps Wednesday evening.

Phelps was charged in Jackson County, Missouri with statutory sodomy and child molestation in July 2008. In 2009 he was convicted and sentenced to six years incarceration and classified as a Tier III sex offender requiring him to register for life.

He 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 Oak Grove police 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 discovered that Phelps had fled to Mexico, eventually narrowing his location down to San Luis Potosi′ City.

On Tuesday, 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 Wednesday morning back to the United States due to entering Mexico illegally and was handed over to Deputy Marshals in Houston.

Phelps was then taken to Harris County, Texas, where he is waiting extradition back to Missouri.

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