Gainesville-based U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force Arrests Fugitive After Two Decades on the Run

Press release from U.S. Marshals Service

Tallahassee, Fla. – The US Marshals Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (FCRFTF) announced today the arrest of Michael Jeffery McCaskey for the offenses of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Violation of Probation on an original conviction for Lewd and Lascivious Child Molestation. 

McCaskey was being sought by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender as well as the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) for Probation Violation on the conviction for child molestation. In 1995, McCaskey was arrested on multiple charges of Lewd/Lascivious Child Molestation and Sexual Activity with a child 12 to 16 years of age by the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. McCaskey pled guilty to three counts in May 1999 and was sentenced to 4 years custody in the Florida DOC to be followed by 6 years of supervised release. McCaskey was required to register as a Sex Offender and after release from FDOC moved back home to Hillsborough County, FL. In December 2002, McCaskey fled his residence in Riverview, FL, and disappeared for the next 20 years despite multiple local, state, and federal agencies searching for his whereabouts.

In June 2021, the US Marshals FCRFTF Gainesville Division picked up the search for McCaskey and over the past year have spent untold hours running down cold case leads in an effort to locate him. This meticulous investigation uncovered a previously unknown female residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with whom McCaskey had fathered a child. Investigative leads were sent to the US Marshals Southwest Investigative Team (SWIFT), who conducted surveillance on the residence for several weeks. On July 21, 2022, after spotting McCaskey, US Marshals surrounded the home, and McCaskey was arrested without incident, ending a run of over 20 years as a fugitive from justice. 

McCaskey is currently being held in a New Mexico jail awaiting extradition back to Florida, where he faces an additional 15 years in state custody. A federal investigation into McCaskey’s failure to register as a sex offender is also currently under way by the US Marshals, who are charged with investigating violations of the Adam Walsh Act.

This investigation and apprehension would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of the US Marshals FCRFTF, US Marshals Service M/FL Tampa, US Marshals Service D/NM Albuquerque, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Corrections and the State Attorney’s Office, 8th Judicial Circuit.       

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