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The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested Justin Lee Earls on one count of Harboring a Fugitive on August 18.
Lee was serving as Beaver Police Chief when he assisted a suspect with fleeing the jurisdiction. Earls’ arrest was the culmination of an OSBI investigation requested by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the OSBI, Earls’ arrest warrant was issued in Beaver County District Court on August 18, 2021 and Earls, 52, was arrested that day in Texas County, Oklahoma. He was booked into the Beaver County Jail.
Officials with the Beaver County District Court and the Beaver Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
Oklahoma Police Chiefs face arrest, controversy
No details were provided as to what the fugitive had been charged with as the former police chief traded in his badge for steel bars.
If convicted, Earls faces up to 10 years in prison.
His arrest follows the arrest and controversy of other Oklahoma police chiefs and sheriffs in recent months. Locust Grove Police Chief Steven E. Rose was arrested for a drunken brawl in early August, and Canadian County Sheriff Chris West received widespread backlash after social media posts surfaced showing he attended the Jan. 6 insurrection in D.C.