SPIRO – A request for assistance on a manhunt from the Le Flore County Sheriff’s Office to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) K-9 Unit has led to the arrest of Colton Potter, who was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender.
Last night, a tip led Le Flore County Sheriff's deputies to a mobile home where Potter was seen. When law enforcement knocked on the door, Potter ran out of the back into a nearby wooded area.
Authorities set up roadblocks, secured the perimeter and called the DOC K-9 Unit for assistance.
Two correctional officers and a 4-year-old bloodhound named Jade dispatched to the location from McAlester. The team searched the area for approximately a half mile, cornering Potter.
The team came within approximately 200 yards of Potter when he surrendered without incident.
Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the ability to assist local law enforcement and communities is an added benefit to the agency’s growing K-9 program.
“Continuing to foster a partnership between the DOC and local law enforcement is encouraging,” Allbaugh said. “Our missions within public safety may differ, but we can rely on one another to ensure the main goal is the safety of the citizens of the state of Oklahoma.
“I am pleased with the continued success of our K-9 program. We are going to continue to develop and refine this program in what we believe will be a model for law enforcement and corrections agencies around the country to follow.”
Potter, 25, was on probation after serving time in prison for rape. He was released from prison in October. He recently changed addresses without notifying authorities, which is a violation of the terms of the sex offender registry. He was also living in a home with two children and three adults, which is another violation.
On Jan. 18, deputies went to the home, handcuffed Potter and placed him in the back of a patrol car. While deputies were waiting on officials with the Department of Human Services to arrive on the scene, Potter escaped.
Since his escape, there were multiple sightings of Potter, including a foot chase on Jan. 22 but law enforcement was unable to detain him.
From left: Correctional Sgt. Sam Williams and Sgt. Kevin Yandell pose with DOC bloodhound Jade. The team's efforts during Wednesday night's manhunt brought a wanted sex offender back into custody.