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Famed Ariz. sheriff holds suspect for Roane

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Phillips and Deputy Wes Stooksbury traveled to Phoenix last week.    

The two lawmen weren’t there to sightsee, however. They went to pick up a prisoner from one of the jails in Maricopa County, Ariz.

James. A. Tiegs was wanted in Roane County for a sexual offender registration violation and aggravated sexual battery.

“We flew out Wednesday,” Phillips said. “Stayed the night, got up and went and got our prisoner and flew back.”

Phillips said they picked Tiegs up from the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix, which has a capacity of 2,064 beds.

“It was a pretty big operation,” Phillips said.

Maricopa County operates several jails, including the famed Tent City Jail.

The operation is also well known because it’s overseen by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who hails himself as America’s Toughest Sheriff.   

Phillips said he didn’t get a chance to meet Arpaio, but he does have some memories of the trip, thanks to his cellphone.

“I did take a picture of the door with my cellphone going into the Fourth Avenue Jail,” he said, “and there’s a sign out by Tent City, I think it says something like ‘Joe Arpaio smart ‘tents or something.”

According to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, Tiegs has a conviction for sexual exploitation of a minor.

He was arrested by Harriman police last November, and charged with being a fugitive from justice. According to the warrant, a background check confirmed that he was wanted out of Arizona.

The Roane County grand jury indicted Tiegs in February for the sexual offender registration violation and aggravated sexual battery.

According the indictment, Tiegs had sexual contact with someone who was less than 13 years old in October of last year.

District Attorney General Russell Johnson signed extra-dition papers on Tiegs in March.

“There’s different areas that you’re extraditable for,” Phil-
lips said. “This one, he was
extraditable anywhere in the United States, so that’s why
we traveled to Phoenix to get him.”

According to Roane County jail records, Tiegs was booked Thursday night and released a few hours later.

His address is listed as 130 Garrett St., Harriman.