Deputies say sex offender cut off ankle monitor, ran

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office detectives looking for Robert Lee Ferrell

Robert Lee Ferrell
Robert Lee Ferrell

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Detectives are looking for a convicted sex offender who's on the loose after ditching his GPS tracking device, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday. 

Robert Lee Ferrell, 35, is wanted for failing to register as a convicted sex offender and other charges, deputies said.

Ferrell was released from prison a week ago, and two days ago he registered with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office that he was homeless and residing in the woods. As part of his probation, Ferrell was court-ordered to wear a GPS tracking device, but Florida Parole and Probation officials said that Ferrell cut off the device at 6 p.m. Tuesday and dumped it in a trash can along U.S. Highway 1 South.

Ferrell is described as a white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 135 pounds with a shaved head. He has tattoos all over his body, including his head and neck. Specifically, he has a tattoo on the top of his shaved head that says “FLORIDA” with a picture of a face next to it.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in 2001, Ferrell was convicted of lewd battery of a child under the age of 16. In 2015, he was convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.

Duval County court records show that Ferrell was arrested in 2010 on a fugitive warrant out of Houston, Texas. That same year, he was charged with domestic battery in Jacksonville. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said if Ferrell is caught, his probation will likely be revoked and he will be forced to go back to prison. 

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Special Victims’ Unit asked anyone who has seen Ferrell or knows his whereabouts to call Detective Kevin Green at 904-209-3988 or by email. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward, calling Crime Stoppers of N.E. Florida at 888-277-TIPS.

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