59-year-old James Robert Jones was arrested on Thursday morning by the U.S. Marshal Service when he attempted to show up for work in Pompano Beach, Florida. “I knew it would catch up to me one day,” said Jones as he was being taken away by law enforcement officials.
James Robert Jones won a spot on the Army’s 15 Most Wanted fugitives after escaping from federal prison back in 1977. In 1974, Jones was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for murder and aggravated assault. Of course, he only served three years before he devised an escape plan.
The hunt for Jones turned cold, and most people working on the case were forced to give it up for other priorities. However, Jones remained on the Army’s list of 16 Most Wanted fugitives, so they continued to search for clues tipping away his location. With the help of the Marshal’s Service, Army officials were able to use facial recognition software to locate a possible match in South Florida. The software picked up a man named Bruce Walter Keith. Law enforcement officials believe Jones purchased the fake driver’s license off the street and used it as his own.
What’s even more surprising to this story is the elaborate cover Jones was using to hide his real identify. According to neighbors, Jones owned a nice home, several cars and even a boat. He had even gotten married since during the time he was a fugitive. When questioned by police, Jones’ wife said she was shocked to hear about his real identify.
“This arrest is an excellent example of the dedication, hard work and great cooperation of the U.S. Marshals and the military liaison officers assigned to the targeting center,” said William Snelson of the Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division. “Capturing a cold case fugitive who has been on the run for almost 37 years is a great arrest for law enforcement, but it also is comforting to the families of the original victim to know the person who escaped from custody is now behind bars again,” He added.
Jones is now being held without bond in Broward County Jail on military hold. Since his original arrest occurred while he was an active military personnel, he will eventually be handed over to the U.S. Army.