U.S. Marshals join search for child porn suspect

Brice Gage Watkins

ENID, Okla. — U.S. Marshals Service has entered the search for an Enid fugitive wanted on child pornography and lewd acts charges.

According to a post Tuesday on Oklahoma City Police Department's Facebook page, U.S. Marshals Service joined law enforcement agencies, including Enid Police Department, searching for Brice Gage Watkins, 22.

"He could be in OKC and has ties to Norman and Enid," the Facebook post reads. Gage is accused of sexually assaulting child who turned 1 in June, recording the assault and distributing it on social media.

Watkins was charged Aug. 14 in Garfield County District Court with one felony count of distribution of child pornography after authorities said he sent a video of himself molesting a baby to two women.

On Aug. 28, he was charged with four more felonies: one count of manufacturing child pornography and three counts of lewd acts to a child under 12.

An arrest warrant was issued on the new charges, and bond had been denied.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, on Aug. 11, a woman contacted Norman Police Department after receiving videos of Watkins molesting a small child. The woman told NPD Sgt. Adam Crane she recognized the child in the video and also recognized the house in the video Watkins sent, according to the affidavit. The woman said the house was where the child lived was located in Enid.

The woman said she could see in the videos it was Watkins, according to the affidavit. She said she knew it was the house where the child lived because she was friends with the child's mother.

EPD Detective Tanner Austin spoke with an Enid woman Aug. 13, who said she also received videos from Watkins.

The woman said she received a video from Watkins via Facebook Messenger on Aug. 11 but she did not open the video until the next day, according to the affidavit. She said when she opened the video, she saw Watkins doing inappropriate things to a child she knows .

The woman showed Austin the video Watkins sent with the message, "whose child is this," according to the affidavit. The woman said she knew the child in the video and knew it to be Watkins in the video.

EPD announced on Facebook Aug. 14 that Watkins, who has no current address listed, had been taken into custody by Norman Police Department officers, but later clarified on social media that he hadn’t been arrested.

Norman Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Jensen said Norman police contacted a 29-year-old man Aug. 14 who matched Watkins' photograph that had been released by EPD. The man, who was homeless, refused to positively identify himself and fled from police, she said. After he was apprehended, police determined he wasn’t Watkins. Norman police arrested him on an interference complaint and booked him into the Cleveland County jail. Jail records indicated he was only in custody for three hours before he was released.

Enid Police Sgt. Nick John said Enid investigators received a call from Norman police Aug. 14 that Watkins had been apprehended. Their social media person then posted about Watkins' supposed arrest to stop an overwhelming number of tips that were coming in from residents.

John said Enid police didn't find out that Watkins wasn't in custody until Aug. 16.

Anyone with information can submit a tip anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at (580) 233-6233, going to the website at https://www.enid.org/services/police or texting 847411, typing EPDTIP and then a message in the text box or using the app Enid PD.

Tipsters will not be required to testify nor identified. Those with information leading to an arrest or prosecution of a crime could earn a reward of up to $1,000.

Click for the latest, full-access Enid News & Eagle headlines | Text Alerts | app downloads

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for the News & Eagle? Send an email to enidnews@enidnews.com.

React to this story:

0
1
0
3
15

Recommended for you