All boaters are scoundrels

Published on January 10th, 2023

Not really, but with the proliferation of security cameras by government and home owners, it’s getting hard to hide on land. Maybe the headline should be, All scoundrels are boaters… or should be. Here’s a scoundrel story:

On January 6, 2023, U.S. Marshals and U.S. Coast Guard located and arrested 71 year-old Curtiss E Jackson of Honolulu, HI. Jackson was wanted by the U.S. Marshals on a federal arrest warrant for violating his terms of pretrial release.

As CEO of a shipbuilding company in Hawaii, Jackson is accused of a $28 million fraud in which he misused a significant portion of the funds he raised from investors intended for his semiclear-bottomed boat project pitched as a potential tourist trap, but instead using the cash on personal luxuries.

He was originally arrested on December 24, 2022 for federal charges related to securities fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, and then released on pretrial release pending his trial date.

Sail GP

On January 4, 2023, U.S. Pretrial Services, the federal agency who supervises federal pretrial release defendants, received information Jackson was set to sail from Oahu on his boat, fully fueled, and stocked with cash and enough provisions to sustain himself at sea.

Pretrial Service Officers immediately responded to Jackson’s boat at Kewalo Basin in Honolulu to ensure he was following the Judge’s release conditions, however, upon arrival officers discovered the slip empty with Jackson and his boat nowhere to be found. As a result, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest and Jackson classified a fugitive.

U.S. Marshals, using information received from Pretrial Services, requested support from the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement to aid in the search for Jackson’s boat and water borne law enforcement assets. A BOLO (“Be On the Look Out”) was issued statewide for Jackson’s boat and U.S. Coast Guard water and air resources were deployed to aid in the search.

At approximately 2:00 am on January 6, Coast Guard notified U.S. Marshals they received information Jackson was attempting to re-dock on Oahu to seek aid from a crew for issues with his boat; Jackson subsequently sailed back out to sea. U.S. Marshals then coordinated with Coast Guard in a joint operation in attempt to located Jackson’s boat and arrest him at sea.

About five and a half hours later, U.S. Marshals and Coast Guard arrested Jackson on his boat located off the coast of Barber’s Point. Jackson and his boat were returned to Oahu without incident.

Jackson was transported and booked into the Federal Detention Center Honolulu pending court appearance and further hearings. The successful apprehension of Jackson is credited to the combined efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, the NOAA, and the Harbor Police department.

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