|Suspects wanted on charges ranging from sodomy to sex abuse dating back to 2004|
"This warrant roundup provides an opportunity for the agencies to work as a team in an effort take criminals off the street,'' Casey said.
Authorities fanned out over Blount County beginning Thursday and again this morning. Some of the suspects didn't answer the door, weren't home or had moved away. "If they have moved away, we will conduct follow ups with possible addresses where they moved,'' Casey said.
Their names also have been entered into a national database so that law enforcement agencies across the country will be aware of the outstanding warrants. The operation even yielded one tip that a suspect is fleeing the U.S. "We will seek an international warrant to bring him back to face charges for sex offenses against a child,'' Casey said.
Blount County 911, Blount EMS and Blount County EMA also assisted in the two-day operation. "These officers did an awesome job crisscrossing multiple counties hunting these people down,'' Casey said.
Those arrested were:
-Callie Stapler, 42 of Warrior, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of a forged instrument.
-Cody Reid, 22, of Hayden, sodomy.
-Dana Blythe, 40 of Cleveland, insurance fraud, seven counts of negotiating a worthless instrument.
-Dustin Deaver, 25 of Cleveland, 12 counts of second-degree forgery.
-Michael Higginbotham, 60, of Birmingham, second-degree sex abuse.
-William Brister, 41, of Highland Lake, first-degree theft by deception.
-Daniel Faulkner, 32, of Oneonta, theft of property.
-Christopher Thurman, 48, of Arab, unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
-Robert Merrell, 25, of Pinson, Burglary and Criminal Mischief
Also from Blount County comes word that a man charged last year with multiple counts of child rape and child sex abuse had committed suicide near his mother's home in Missouri.
Blount County officials charged Jason Thomas Bates, 35, with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of sex abuse of a child. He was booked in to the Blount County Correctional Facility on Dec. 5, and released seven days later.
The young teen girl told investigators Bates had sexually abused her for several years, according to court records. The abuse involved sexual intercourse, oral sex, and videotaping of the sex acts, records show.
Bates, who was suspected of sexually abusing 9 other children, suicided while on bail.
|Blount Co. Alabama|