Released Sex Offender in custody; wanted in four counties
Mike Seals - January 26, 2021 11:28 pm
GRADY COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Four different Oklahoma sheriffs were searching for an aggravated sex offender on probation, facing several felony warrants.
Johnny Simmons was released from prison in June 2020 to serve a suspended sentence as long as he registered as a sex offender and checked in with his sex offender officer.
However, according to the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, Simmons has been off the grid since June while on probation. A warrant for his arrest was issued in November 2020.
“This is your freedom that we are talking about here,” Grady County Undersheriff Phil Blevins said. “Do what you are supposed to do.”
In September 2020, Simmons was charged with Domestic Assault and Strangulation in Cleveland County. Two months later, he was charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.
Tuesday afternoon, Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd revealed Simmons turned himself in after talking to family members. He now faces drug charges as well as larceny and failure to register in Johnston County.
“He is a habitual offender, and he hasn’t shown one ounce of wanting to get help,” Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd said.
Simmons had felony warrants out in four counties – Grady, Bryan, Cleveland and Johnston.
Over the weekend, Johnston County deputies found a stolen truck parked on school grounds connected to Simmons. Investigators found meth, blank checks, a printer, wallets, multiple IDs, license plates and wigs for disguise inside the truck.
“People in my county are frustrated,” Sheriff Dodd said. “I am frustrated. “People feel that criminals now are getting a slap on a wrist.”
Simmons has been in and out of prison for two decades. He has been convicted on multiple charges, including burglary, lewd acts with a child and assault and battery.
In 2018, Simmons escaped from an Oklahoma Correctional Facility in the middle of the night.
Several sheriffs tell KFOR they remain frustrated and are asking the same question: “How was Simmons even allowed on probation?”
In 2017, a Bryan County District Attorney signed off on Simmons’ sentence to allow probation after he served prison time, according to online court records.
“After we get them off the street, it’s the judicial system who needs to hold them accountable,” Undersheriff Blevins said.
According to the Johnston County Sheriff, Simmons will make his first court appearance in front of a judge next week. Then, each of the other three counties will pick him up on their own specific charges.