Examiner reader turns in child sex offender

Crime,Scott McCabe

Fugitive sex offender Shamar Robert Chester told authorities that he realized his days of freedom were numbered when he saw his mug shot and story featured in The Washington Examiner.

He was right.

Another reader called U.S. marshals to say that Chester was living at an address on Eastern Avenue in Northeast Washington.

The caller said she hadn't know that Chester was a sex offender, said Marshal's Deputy Bill Straw of the National Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. But after reading about Chester in The Examiner on May 3, the caller said he needed to be off the streets, Straw said.

Law enforcement authorities staked out the location. Chester was easy to identify, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 230 pounds, with tattoos all over his body, including the words "Game Over" on his eyelids.

On Monday, task force members arrested Chester. He told Straw that he assumed he was going to get locked up once he saw The Examiner article.

Chester was convicted of felony child sex abuse in 2007, after a 15-year-old girl give birth to his baby. Chester was 31 years old at the time, according to charging documents.

Chester was sentenced to 19 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. He was discovered missing after a one-time compliance check by U.S. marshals and members of the federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, marshals said. Unlike Maryland and Virginia, CSOSA does not conduct routine compliance checks at the homes of registered sex offenders who are no longer on probation or parole.

He has been on the run since August.

Straw said the address where they found Chester was never on their radar until the tipster called.

"The article worked perfectly. It always does," said Straw. He said he has had three fugitives featured in The Examiner, and all three were captured thanks to readers' tips.

Since 2008, federal authorities have credited readers of The Washington Examiner for the capture of 42 fugitives. At least nine of them were wanted on a homicide charge and/or were convicted killers.

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