US Marshals catch tattoo-covered sex offender

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Matthew Stager

Matthew Stager

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A convicted sex offender who was wanted by U.S. Marshals after failing to self-report to a transitional center after his release from prison earlier this month, according to WTVR, has been captured.

According to a U.S. Marshal, at around 4 p.m., Stager was seen walking down the street near the D.C. Superior Court by two Metropolitan Police Department officers, who had been made aware that Stager was believed to be in D.C. by U.S. Marshals.

Stager was then taken into custody without incident. He is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals in Washington D.C., pending transfer to Richmond, Virginia, to face the escape charge.

Stager, 44, was released from the Federal Correctional Complex in Virginia on Feb. 2. He was given a one-day furlough to travel to Austin, Texas and signed a form acknowledging that he was he was still in the custody of the bureau of prisons until his projected release date in July.

His signature acknowledged that he could be charged with escape should he fail to report to the Austin Transitional House as directed. Before being caught Wednesday, he was last seen at the Richmond International Airport on Feb. 2 after failing to make his scheduled flight to Austin as required.

His last known location had been in Petersburg. He had no specific ties to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, but authorities believed he may have recently traveled through that part of the state.

Stager has connections in multiple states around the country, officials said.

Stager is a convicted sex offender and has a history of drug abuse and mental health concerns, according to U.S. Marshals. He was convicted in NC in 1999 of indecent liberties with a minor and was required to register as a sex offender for life. He is described as a white or Hispanic male, 5’8″ tall, 145 pounds, with blonde or strawberry hair, green eyes and dozens of facial tattoos.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 to reflect that the suspect has been captured.