CRUZ BAY — Customs officials say they nabbed a man sought by authorities as a Colorado sex offender as he tried to make his way onto St. John from the British Virgin Islands.
The arrest of Peter D. Watkins, 39, was announced May 18 by officials of the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection. Watkins was apprehended at the dock in Cruz Bay Creek where vessels from the BVI drop off passengers, CBP Port Director Louis Harrigan said.
Database system checks of the man’s U.S. passport led to the discovery of an arrest warrant by the Pitkin County Regonal Emergency Dispatch Center, Harrigan said. The defendant had arrived in Cruz Bay on a private vessel, authorities said.
A routine check of passenger passports turned up information connecting Watkins with a felony sexual assault case, Harrigan said.
Watkins’ arrest was mentioned by Acting V.I. Attorney General Terri Griffiths at a May 21 press conference. Tracking down fugitives, whether coming from or headed towards the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a duty the local Justice Department takes seriously, the acting A.G. said.
“We have an obligation to the citizens of both the U.S. Virgin Islands and to the citizens of the U.S. mainland to actively and aggressively pursue our fugitive warrants through the extradition process,” Griffiths said.
Watkins was “being detained, pending extradition,” Griffiths said.