Last updated: June 25. 2014 3:15PM - 7496 Views
Steena Hymes shymes@civitasmedia.com

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Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office are searching for an escaped felon believed to be connected to illegal firearm sales, identity and financial fraud.

Tony Maxie Butler Jr., 35, of Troup County has been wanted since he was released from jail over a year ago on parole but failed to ever check in with his parole officer.

On June 10, a woman made a report concerning several unused checks being stolen from the middle of her checkbook and one of the checks being cashed at a local bank for $350. Investigators were able to trace the fraudulent checks back to Butler who was seen on the bank’s video surveillance, according to investigators with the TCSO.

Based on the vehicle shown on bank footage, the car was located at a residence in Troup County which turned out to be the victim’s home, who was providing temporary housing to Butler and his girlfriend Centina Leigh Watson, 34, of Andalusia, Ala.

Investigators said Watson, a convicted felon also, allegedly assisted Butler in escaping out the window but remained behind to cooperate with authorities. During a search of Butler’s belongings, a firearm was found according to officials.

According to investigators, Watson agreed to come to the sheriff’s office at a later time to be questioned, however, he allegedly escaped into the woods to find Butler where they both fled the area.

On June 17, Deputies responded to the area of Glenda Drive at approximately 1:15 a.m. in reference to two individuals standing in the middle of the street with guns. Upon arrival, they found Butler who provided a false name and date of birth to authorities. In an attempt to arrest him, Butler resisted, and was able to flee, jumping over fence and escaping into the woods.

Watson was found nearby in a car where she also allegedly provided a fake name and date of birth to authorities regarding Butler. Watson was arrested and transported to the Troup County Jail where she is being held pending additional charges.

Recovered at the scene were three rifles, miscellaneous firearm equipment and a large television in the backseat of the vehicle.

Investigators said it it believed Butler was allegedly selling stolen firearms.

Investigators are currently working with officials in several jurisdiction out of Alabama to verify several stolen items including firearms and a television which may be connected to Butler and Watson.

Watson is facing three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, giving false information to law enforcement and obstruction. Pending charges out of Alabama may also be added, according to officials.

Butler has warrants out for eight felonies and seven misdemeanors including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, identity fraud, financial card fraud, theft by taking, parole violation and obstruction.

Investigators are still currently looking for Butler who may be crossing state lines between Alabama and Georgia.

If anyone has any information about this case, contact TCSO Investigations at 706-883-1616.

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