Man accused of killing armored car guard in Phoenix removed from FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Federal Bureau of Investigations has removed Jason Derek Brown from its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and has replaced him with Michael James Pratt after his alleged involvement in sex trafficking and production of child pornography.
Jason Derek Brown was removed from the list on Sept. 7, 2022, after there were no confirmed sightings of him and no further information since his murder and armed robbery of an armored car guard in Phoenix in Nov. of 2004. The investigation is still underway despite his removal from the list.
“It’s well over 10,000 tips. I know at one point it might have rivaled the most tips a fugitive has ever received on the Top 10 Most Wanted list,” said retired FBI agent Lance Leising, who worked on this fugitive case since it happened in 2004, all the way to 2020. “There was not one single corroborated sighting out of the tens of thousands of tips we received,” said Leising.
Leising said that’s likely the number one reason Brown was taken off the list. Another factor that keeps a fugitive on the list is a danger to society. “He absolutely could be dangerous. This was a crime of greed, a crime of emotion. If he’s capable of doing it once, he’s likely capable of doing it again,” Leising said.
Leising said with that aspect, it comes down to probability. “Have we seen that or found evidence that he’s done that again in 18 years? No. So that threat deescalates somewhat, and there are many other individuals that are immediate, imminent threats that Jason may not be at this point in the case,” said Leising.
Brown was taken off the list just months after infamous Scottsdale-accused family annihilator Robert Fisher was taken off, a case that also has received immense media attention since 2001, yet there’s been no trace of Fisher since.
Leising said while he doesn’t like to speculate theories about what happened to these fugitives, he did offer some insight about Jason Derek Brown. “If he was alive, I believe we would have found him, but there’s no direct evidence and proof of that, and that’s why warrants will stay active, the case will stay open, and they’re going to continue to look for him,” said Leising.
Between 2012 and 2019, Pratt reportedly participated in a conspiracy to recruit young women and minors to engage in pornography productions, sometimes without their consent. He and a co-conspirator owned and operated a pornography production company and two online pornography websites that generated around $17 million in revenue. They reportedly recruited minors and women across the U.S. and Canada through false internet advertisements for clothed modeling jobs.
Pratt allegedly paid other young women and minors to act as references and provide false assurances that if they filmed a pornographic film, the video wouldn’t be posted online. Allegedly these women and minors were unable to leave until the videos were done and were often forced to perform sex acts they did not consent to perform. “This was a despicable crime that has devastated its victims,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to combating all forms of sex trafficking.”
Pratt has ties to multiple countries and has the financial means to be anywhere around the world. Anyone with information on Pratt’s whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You can remain anonymous; however, tipsters could receive a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to Pratt’s arrest. Pratt is the 529th addition to the list that was first released in March of 1950. 492 fugitives have been found, 163 of which were due to citizen cooperation.
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