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Press Release

Indiana Sex Offender Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Failure to Register in Minnesota

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – A Bemidji man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by eight years of supervised release for knowingly failing to register as sex offender as required by federal law, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in June 2009, Stephon Rene Jones, 34, was convicted of molesting a 7-year-old child in LaPorte County, Indiana. Based on this conviction, Jones is a Tier III sex offender under federal law. As a Tier III sex offender, Jones was aware that he was required to register as a sex offender for life and complete verification every three months. Additionally, Jones was required to provide registration updates within three days of a change of where he lived, worked, or attended school, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). However, starting in 2018, Jones was noncompliant and evaded his registration requirement for five years after he relocated from Indiana to Minnesota. Additionally, Jones admitted that he fraudulently used aliases and others’ names and social security numbers in order to gain employment in Minnesota in 2022 and 2023, most recently at a language immersion camp. 

Jones pleaded guilty on October 20, 2023, in U.S. District Court to one count of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced on March 4, 2024, by Judge Katherine M. Menendez. Jones has a lifetime registration requirement as required under SORNA.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary A. Taylor prosecuted the case.

Updated March 6, 2024