Wanted Sex Offender Arrested in Cross County

DECEMBER 7, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CST

WYNNE, AR -- The new Adam Walsh Act was recently signed into law by President Bush this past July. The law stiffened the penalties for sex offenders who fail to register and also created a national database online listing sex offenders in your area.

There are possibly 100,000 unregistered sex offenders living in the United States today. One of those lived in Wynne that is until the Cross County Sheriff's Department brought this unregistered sex offender to light.

Wednesday morning, the U.S. Marshalls and the Cross County Sheriff's Department arrested 45 year old Stephen Tucker of Wynne. Tucker served prison time in Washington D.C. for attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor. Once he was released from prison, he fled D.C. and failed to register as a sex offender. Ever since, the feds have been on the lookout.

"He was surprised to see us there. Fortunate enough for the whole situation, when the Marshalls took over the case, they were fast to act and we were able to get Mr. Tucker into custody pretty quick," says Cross County Detective Larry Jones, who assisted in the arrest.

Tucker's arrest is the first in Arkansas under the new law and now he will be charged with a federal crime.

"For whatever reason, he came from the state that he was convicted in and he didn't follow procedures as he was supposed to. Fortunately, this act went into effect and it was picked up by the government," says Detective Tucker.

It's likely Tucker won't be seeing his home in Wynne for a while. For not registering, he's looking at 20 years behind bars in federal prison. Tucker is now in custody of the U.S. Marshalls. He was scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Little Rock Thursday.