Round Lake Park police say a routine traffic stop led to the arrest of a convicted sex offender who was wanted in Arizona on a parole violation in a separate case.
James R. Starr, 43, of the 2300 block of Route 12 in Spring Grove, was held Monday in the Lake County jail and awaiting extradition to Arizona. He was charged with driving with too many passengers without a proper number of seat belts, no valid driver's license and being a fugitive from justice.
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Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said an officer on patrol noticed Starr driving a blue Chevrolet pickup truck near Brierhill and Locust drives about 11:15 p.m. on July 19, with two men riding in the flatbed section and two other passengers in the front seat. He said the officer stopped the pickup because of safety concerns after spotting the two men in the flatbed.
Starr presented an Arizona driver's license to the officer, but the number on it didn't check out, according to Filenko. He said the Round Lake Park officer ran the number a second time through an Arizona database to confirm no such driver's license existed.
Filenko said the officer then performed a database check of Starr's name that showed he was wanted on an Arizona arrest warrant for a parole violation. Starr served prison time in Arizona for a dangerous drugs conviction in 2007.
Starr also was wanted on an arrest warrant for failing to appear in Lake County circuit court on a charge of being a convicted sex offender illegally living within 500 feet of a playground in Gurnee. Washington state authorities had an active arrest warrant for Starr for failing to register as a sex offender.
Filenko said Starr assisted the arresting officer by verifying some information about his background obtained from the computer check of his name. He said it was an example of the danger a police officer faces when executing a traffic stop.
"Truly, you don't know what you're walking up to," Filenko said.
Filenko said it's believed Starr came to northeastern Illinois to look for his wife and the couple's child. He said the woman and the child left Arizona after Starr went to prison for the dangerous drugs conviction.