Former town supervisor wanted for 23 years arrested while hiding in Ohio, held in Butler County Jail

William L. Jones, seen at left in the 1990s and at right this week in Butler County Jail, was arrested in Waverly, Ohio on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, after being wanted out of New York for 23 years.
William L. Jones, seen at left in the 1990s and at right this week in Butler County Jail, was arrested in Waverly, Ohio on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, after being wanted out of New York for 23 years.

When a police officer in Waverly, Ohio, stopped to help a limping man, he solved a mystery that has been lingering over the town of Mentz, New York, for more than 23 years, according to the sheriff’s office there.

Officials in Cayuga County, New York, say that William L. Jones, the former town supervisor of Mentz, was arrested Sunday in Waverly after fleeing New York in 1997 to avoid sentencing on a conviction of selling firearms illegally.

Jones, 71, is being held in the Butler County Jail pending his extradition to Cayuga County.

In 1997, Jones was convicted of a criminal sale of a firearm charge and was out on $20,000 bond when he did not show up to be sentenced. He has been missing since.

He was accused of selling eight handguns after his pistol permit was suspended because he had served eight months in prison for a conviction of official misconduct during his time as Mentz town supervisor.

The Waverly officer who stopped to help the limping man, whom he later determined to be Jones, took the man to a local hospital. The man had no identification, and the officer’s investigation showed the man was Jones, officials said.

“He has been living in Ohio for an undetermined amount of time under (an) assumed identity,” the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials are working on arrangements to return him to New York for sentencing.

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