WEST BRANCH, MI — Three suspects in separate Iosco County sexual assault investigations have been arrested in Florida and extradited back to Michigan to face charges.
Four Michigan State Police troopers from the West Branch Post on Sept. 22 travelled to Florida by commercial air carrier to extradite the three wanted men and bring them back to Michigan. All three men had several active felony warrants stemming from investigations initiated by the Trooper Investigator Unit.
The charged individuals are as follows:
- James B. Riley, 37, from Whittemore; charged with nine counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
- Austin W. Smith, 21, from Middleburg, Florida; charged with five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, one of which involved force or coercion.
- Robert L. Ogle, 66, from Beverly Hills, Florida; charged with five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a relation, two counts of accosting a child for immoral purposes, and three counts of indecent exposure.
“All three were separate incidents and none of the three know each other,” said Iosco County Prosecutor James A. Bacarella. “It was a coincidence that we had three cases involving Florida defendants, two of which lived in the same city a few miles from each other.”
Bacarella added that the crimes all occurred within the last two years.
Troopers worked with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Clay and Citrus County Sheriffs’ Offices to facilitate the arrest of the three men. The cost of the extradition was funded by the Iosco County Prosecutor’s Office.
The total cost to extradite the three suspects was $2,160.80, Bacarella said.
“If we had not coordinated with Florida Highway Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service to arrest all three within a matter of hours and extradite them at the same time and followed normal procedure, it would have cost the county about $6,000 to bring them all back,” he said. “This was an extensive operation that was planned over several months, required the coordination of several law enforcement agencies in two states. I am a little bit amazed it worked, but I was working with professionals and the officers from the Michigan State Police did an outstanding job.”
Each defendant was given a $1 million cash-surety or 10% bond. If they bond out, they are not allowed to leave the state and must wear a GPS tether.
The MSP West Branch Post’s Trooper Investigator Unit investigates complex crimes against children, including criminal sexual conduct, child pornography and child abuse. Established in 2018, the unit is composed of three troopers serving on a rotating basis, all of whom undergo extensive training for the position in addition to the training typically received by road patrol troopers.
Since its inception, the unit has investigated nearly 600 complaints in Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, and Ogemaw counties.
“Crime often doesn’t pay attention to jurisdictional lines on a map,” said Lt. Michael Brown, assistant commander of the MSP West Branch Post. “Working with our partners on the local, state, and federal level in two states, the MSP was happy to have a hand in bringing these defendants back to Iosco County in the hopes the victims involved can begin to have a sense of closure.”