New Jersey fugitive found in eastern North Carolina sentenced to prison for failure to register as sex offender

Published 6:50 am Thursday, December 9, 2021

A New Jersey man who was on the run for almost two years was sentenced November 30, 2021 to 37 months in prison for failure to register as a sex offender, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Gregory Dennis Dayton, 49, was charged with one count of failure to register as a sex offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250. Dayton pled guilty on August 30, 2021.

In 1998, Dayton was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey after impregnating a minor. His sentence included a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender, according to the release. “Dayton has a lengthy criminal history with numerous prior felony convictions, including two prior convictions for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender,” stated the release. “Dayton last registered in New Jersey in September 2018 and fled the area sometime after, resulting in a May 2019 arrest warrant.”

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The U.S. Marshals Service (“USMS”) Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force (CRFTF) received the case on November 16, 2020 and apprehended Dayton the next day, in Washington, North Carolina, where Dayton was living with a girlfriend and her minor daughter, according to the release. “In open court, the government explained that, while in custody, Dayton admitted that, if released, he could not return to the residence because of the minor daughter,” the release continued. “However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey declined to extradite Dayton and, as a result, he was released and went right back to living with his girlfriend and the minor daughter while continuing to ignore his requirement to register as a sex offender.”

Dayton was arrested on the federal charges in April 2021.

Michael F. Easley Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The U.S. Marshals Service, Eastern District of North Carolina, Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted.

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