A convicted Crook County sex offender who absconded from parole, prompting a public alert, was arrested Friday morning by federal marshals during a traffic stop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Sheriff Jim Hensley said he was found staying at a hotel there with his girlfriend and her brother, who were unharmed.
The sheriff’s office, Prineville police and other agencies had been searching for Charles Ray Teter, 59, in recent days, to return him to custody, said Undersheriff John Gautney.
Investigators determined Teter had fled the state with a reported girlfriend and her brother, deputies said. Detectives were able to track their path across the country and they were last spotted at a Wal-Mart in Sevierville, Tenn., Gautney said.
Due to Teter’s past history, convicted of assaulting a woman in 1989, the case became a top priority for police, “once we discovered there were other persons with him, one being female,” Gautney said.
Gautney said he was able to pass the information on Thursday to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn forwarded the info to U.S. marshals with the Smokey Mountain Fugitive Task Force in east Tennessee.
The marshals located Teter staying at a "family hotel" in Pigeon Forge , best known as home of the Dollywood attraction, and took him into custody without incident during a traffic stop, Gautney said.
Teter was held at the Sevier County Jail on federal charges of failing to register as a sex offender in Tennessee and as a fugitive from justice. Gautney said Teter will go through the extradition process to be returned to Oregon.
Tennessee authorities determined the man and woman “were with Teter of their own free will and were not harmed,” Gautney wrote.
However, he added, “This was potentially a very dangerous sex offender that has been removed from the streets by the immediate action of several law enforcement agencies from across the country.” The undersheriff offered thanks to the agencies involved, saying that “without their help and cooperation, this dangerous offender would still be on the streets with opportunity to offend again.”
"I was really concerned about their (the other man and woman's) safety," Hensley said. "We've been on this night and day."
Crook County authorities on Tuesday had both warned the public and sought its help in finding Teter.
Teter was released from prison in July 2010 after serving a lengthy prison term for abducting and assaulting a woman he used to work with back in 1989, said Sheriff Jim Hensley. He was convicted of first-degree sodomy and second-degree assault, having held the woman against her will, he said.
A warrant was issued for parole violation after he failed to keep in touch with his parole officer, Hensley said.
“We had information he was driving around at 3 a.m. the last two nights,” the sheriff said at the time. “We’re concerned.” Hensley said Friday that apparently was a similar car but not Teter's 1991 Olds Custlass, which was stopped in Tennessee.
According to a wanted flyer, Teter “has a history of controlled substance usage and can be violent when using controlled substances.”