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Marquis charged with failure to register

Daily Inter Lake | November 19, 2021 7:00 AM

A sex offender living in Eureka pleaded not guilty to a felony failure to register charge in Lincoln County District Court on Nov. 15.

Authorities sought an arrest warrant for Jeb Marquis, 32, earlier this month after an investigation sparked by a request from law enforcement officials in Maine for information regarding Marquis’ whereabouts. Marquis was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in Maine in 2011, according to court documents.

In August, the Maine State Police Sex Offender Registry contacted the Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry for any leads on Marquis. That request ended up with Detective David Hall of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office as Marquis had returned to the Eureka area in 2017, according to court documents.

In an affidavit, Hall wrote that Marquis was arrested upon his arrival to the Treasure State for thefts and a burglary dating back to 2009. Hall recalled presenting him with a letter outlining how Marquis was to register with the Montana registry because of his conviction in Maine.

He was instructed to register again while with the Montana Department of Corrections, Hall wrote. He went so far as to fill out the forms as well as sign and initial the requirements in August 2017. Released from the Montana State Prison in 2019, Marquis told officials he planned to move to the Eureka area.

“Marquis has never registered anywhere in the United States after getting out of prison,” Hall wrote.

With the request from Maine in hand, Hall asked his colleagues in the Eureka area if they had crossed paths with Marquis. In late October, Deputy Clint Heintz reported learning that Marquis paid a utility bill on behalf of his parents at Eureka City Hall in September.

On Oct. 29, Heintz spotted Marquis in Eureka while off duty at a local event, court documents said. He phoned Hall and passed the information along.

Based on Heintz’s information, Hall wrote that he believed they had enough probable cause to go after the arrest warrant.

Failure to register as a sexual or violent offender carries a maximum punishment of five years with the Montana State Prison and a $10,000 fine. Marquis is due back in court Jan. 31 for an omnibus hearing with a pretrial conference to follow on Feb. 28. Were the case to go to trial, it would begin April 12.