Brought Back to Tampa by U.S. Marshals
Tampa, FL – On Thursday, March 5, U.S. Marshals escorted a former military officer from Honduras to the U.S. to face child pornography charges.
James Benjamin Smith, a resident of Valrico, Florida, has an outstanding warrant in Hillsborough County, Florida, charging him with 100 counts of possession of child pornography, both images and video.
Smith’s life as a fugitive began in 2010 when he boarded a cruise ship bound for Honduras two days before his trial, and disappeared when the ship docked in the country. Shortly after he fled, his fugitive case was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, which made the case a high priority.
After a lengthy and thorough investigation, U.S. Marshals, along with the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and several other agencies developed information that Smith was living under an assumed identity with a new family on the island of Roatan in Honduras. Once located, Smith was taken into custody by Honduras authorities without incident and turned over to the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Since the inception of the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force in 2008, the task force’s partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies have resulted in over 6000 arrests. The arrests range from murder, assault, unregistered sex offenders, probation and parole violations and numerous other serious offenses.
Nationally, U.S. Marshals Service fugitive investigations are carried out with local law enforcement in 94 district offices, 85 local fugitive task forces, 7 regional task forces, as well as a growing network of offices in foreign countries.