Oklahoma Cracks Down on Unlicensed Bounty Hunters

Oklahoma’s new law requiring bounty hunters to be licensed by the state hit the headlines recently when police arrested a convicted sex offender who was illegally working as a bounty hunter in Oklahoma City.

James Henderson Jr. was working as a bounty hunter for Hound Dog Bail Bonds when he tried to stop a wanted suspect in late April 2015. He and fellow bounty hunters were on the trail of Kenneth Canady—a fugitive with felony warrants. When Candy realized that bounty hunters were on his trail, Canady rammed the bounty hunters’ car and sped away. Luckily, Oklahoma City police quickly arrested the man along with the passenger that was in his car.

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Not so lucky for Henderson, however, is that he was also arrested for violating the new Oklahoma Bail Enforcement and Licensing Act. As it turns out, Henderson actually had a history of nasty criminal behavior himself, so this is just one more thing for him to add to his rap sheet. Not only was Henderson not licensed to work as a fugitive recovery agent, police also discovered that he is a convicted sex offender with a history of rape.

This new law went into effect on February 1, 2015. Anyone working as a bounty hunter in Oklahoma without a license from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) can be charged with a felony.

The author of this law is Senator Ralph Shortey. In a press release, Shortey said that he is “pleased…where the law is working as intended” referring to the Henderson case. The Senator authored his bill after many complaints of wild and unlawful behavior by rogue bounty hunters. Previous egregious activity included holding the wrong family hostage at gunpoint for hours in Midwest City in 2011.

The Attorney for Hound Dog Bail Bonds insists that Henderson was not an employee of theirs. However, the police feel otherwise, and he is currently in the Oklahoma City Jail awaiting charges.

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