ABILENE, Texas — The manhunt for a U.S. Marshal's 15 Most Wanted fugitive ended last week after the man was arrested in Mexico and returned to Texas, according to the U.S. Marshal's Service.
Last month, 47-year-old Jeffrey Winston Forrest was added to the U.S. Marshal's 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list — wanted by the Taylor County Sheriff's Office on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, bail jumping, and failure to appear and by the U.S. Marshal's Office for fleeing to avoid prosecution.
Police say Forrest used his position at several different churches to gain access to, groom, and sexually assault his victims who were between the ages of eight and 15.
Forrest's capture in Mexico is the direct result of a information developed through a tip sent in to the In Pursuit with John Walsh show on Investigation Discovery, which profiled the case, according to the U.S. Marshal's which had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to Forrest's capture.
After his presence and identity were confirmed, members of the Jalisco State Attorney's Office, Zapopan Police Department, and the National Institute of Immigration arrested Forrest in a self-service store in Zapopan, Jalisco. He has since been deported, brought back to the Northern District of Texas, and booked into the Taylor County Jail.
Charges were filed against Forrest in 2015 after four victims came forward and accused him of repeatedly sexually assaulting them from the ages of eight to 15. He was arrested on April 2, 2015, on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was then released on bond but failed to appear for an August 29, 2016, court date.
"While investigators found credible evidence of his travel to Mexico, his trail has grown cold due to his use and knowledge of the dark web and communication software such as Tor to mask his digital footprint," read a statement from the U.S. Marshals.
La tarde de este viernes, tras acción conjunta por elementos de la Policía de #Zapopan, @FiscaliaJal @INAMI_mx lograron la detención de Jeffrey “N”, ex ministro de jóvenes en Texas y quien se encontraba en el listado de los 15 prófugos más buscados en territorio norteamericano. pic.twitter.com/JkXayH6BFt— Policía de Zapopan (@PoliciaZapopan) May 9, 2020