JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – The man who was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender in Jones County was captured in Laurel Monday night.

Investigators said a person recognized James Lamar Whatley at a bar at a Laurel-area Mexican restaurant and called the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.

Whatley was arrested at the restaurant and taken to the Jones County Adult Detention Facility. He was charged with felony failure to register as a sex offender.

“We don’t play those games with sex offenders who think they can avoid following the rules,” notes JCSD Investigator Wesley Waites. Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin advises, “Great teamwork all around by everyone involved in the hunt for James Whatley. Don’t test us and think you can get away with total disregard for the sex offender laws in Mississippi. You will most certainly lose.”

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – A man is wanted in Jones County on a failure to register as sex offender charge.

Officials with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department (JCSD) said James Lamar Whatley, 51, was convicted in 1996 on a charge of “touching, handling etc. of a child, mentally defective person, incapacitated person or physically helpless person.”

They said Whatley was listed on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), making his “wanted” status known to law enforcement across the country.

Anyone with information about his location can call the Jones County Sheriff’s Department at (601)-425-3147 or Crime Stoppers at (601)-428-7867.