Man sentenced for failure to register as sexual offender

MOORE HAVEN — On June 26, James Thomas Watkins, 38, of Moore Haven was sentenced to 63.2 months in prison for two counts of failure to register as a sexual offender. He was convicted earlier this month following a trial in Glades County.

In April 2017, Glades County sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve papers on Watkins at his stated address in Moore Haven. Watkins is required to maintain a current address as part of his sexual offender registration. When deputies could not locate him on multiple attempts, a detective investigated further.

It was learned that the stated address was not valid and the property was actually a vacant lot; the home that was on it previously had burned down. The lot had the driveway fenced off, preventing entry onto the property, and nobody had been living there. The owner of the property did not ever allow Watkins to stay there, and he never had. In fact, he had been staying with various family members in LaBelle.

As part of his sexual offender registration, Watkins is required to update his address within 48 hours of vacating his residence. Not only did he provide false information at registration, he also failed to live at the address he stated, both of which violated his registration requirements.

Assistant State Attorney William Dorman prosecuted the case.

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