Detroit's Most Wanted: U.S. Marshals push to get child rapist James Meece off the streets

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 10:39:38-05

This week, the U.S. Marshals are bringing us one of their top fugitives, wanted for nearly two decades.

They say James Meece is good at keeping a low profile and stealing identities.

His horrific crimes and his years on the run have the U.S. Marshals starting a whole new push to get this child rapist off our streets.

“He’s a pedophile, he’s absconded from the sex offender registry, he’s a danger to children, he’s a danger to anyone that’s around him,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Rob Watson said.

The 67-year-old has been wanted by state and federal authorities since 1999.

“He is one of our top priorities because this guy is bad, when you harm a child you are capable of anything and we will do anything to find him,” Watson said.

Convinced of raping two children in 1990, Meece served prison time and quickly took off once he was released.

“He’s a master of playing the game - no job, nothing verifiable, he could be assuming someone else’s identity,” Watson said.

Meece did a short stint in the Army, though the U.S. Marshals say he likes to pass himself off as a Vietnam Veteran.

“And that’s what makes it so much more dangerous, when you have a person who’s well versed in fraud and evading capture, as well as someone has a predisposition to harming child,” Watson said.

Convicted of rape, gun charges, theft and check fraud, Meece is at the top of the U.S. Marshals and Michigan State Police’s most wanted list with a last known address in Ypsilanti.

“James Meece has family ties in the Upper Peninsula as well as Indiana and northern Ohio,” Watson said.

Watson says he could be hiding anywhere and keeping a low profile, which is why they want you to know his face and identifiable tattoos.

“On one of his hands across his knuckles he has- ‘I, a heart symbol, sex’ and on the other hand he’s got ‘Hell’ tattooed on his hands,” Watson said. “He’s tried to remove those tattoos himself scouring his skin with sandpaper trying to get this stuff removed.”

James Meece is 5’10” and 175 pounds with black or grey hair and brown eyes.  He should be considered armed and dangerous.

As with all our fugitives featured on Detroit’s Most Wanted, The U.S. Marshals are offering a cash reward for information leading to his arrest.

You can call them anytime at 313-234-5656 and remain anonymous.