December 3, 2009 - Two "Most Wanted" Sex Offenders ArrestedContact: Sgt. Kevin Mark, Sex Offender Registry and Enforcement Unit, (517) 322-4939Agency: State Police
LANSING. The Michigan State Police (MSP) is announcing that James Lee Cooley, 50, and James Jamar Harris, 28, have been arrested. Both men were featured as absconders on the state's Most Wanted Sex Offenders Web site at www.michigan.gov/absconders after failing to change their addresses and verify their residences during a required verification period.
Cooley was arrested on Nov. 20, 2009, in Detroit after members of the MSP Sex Offender Registry and Enforcement Unit received a tip that he was living in the area. After he became aware authorities had discovered his residence, Cooley surrendered to police. Cooley was convicted of three counts of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Person Under 13) in 1995.
Harris was arrested on Dec. 1, 2009, in Grand Rapids by the U.S. Marshals Service and Grand Rapids Police Department. In addition to charges for failing to comply with the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act, Harris was charged in connection with the rape of a teenage victim at gunpoint in Grand Rapids last month. Harris was convicted of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct (Person Under 13) in 1999.
Michigan's Sex Offenders Registration Act requires offenders convicted of felony-listed offenses to verify their address at a local law enforcement agency quarterly during the first 15 days of January, April, July and October. Offenders are also required to report a change of address when they move or vacate a residence. Failure to do so can result in a felony conviction with a punishment ranging from four to 10 years in prison.
The MSP Web site began featuring the names and photographs of 10 of the state's most wanted sex offenders in August 2006. As wanted individuals are located, new offenders are featured. Fifteen featured absconders have been arrested in 2009; the most in any year since the list began.
The public can provide information about any offender by contacting the MSP toll free at 1-866-761-7678, or by contacting the nearest law enforcement agency.