Local fugitive 'living happily ever after' in Florida because he's too far away for authorities to get him

Man wanted since 2004 after skipping court hearing on charges of felony drug-dealing.
Aaron Krause
Dec 6, 2012


Michael Paul Cox never appeared for his pretrial hearing in Huron County in connection with fifth-degree felony charges of trafficking in drugs.

There has been a warrant for his arrest ever since he failed to appear in 2004.

But unless Cox returns to Ohio from his home in St. Petersburg, Fla., Cox, now 36, won't serve time in connection with the drug crimes.

That is what Huron County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Cooksey said about Cox, whose name recently appeared on the most wanted fugitives list published on the Reflector's website, www.norwalkreflector.com.

Now retired Huron County Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey issued a warrant for Cox's arrest April 14, 2004 after Cox failed to appear for his pretrial on April 12 of that year. That warrant is still active, court administrator Linda Stower said.

The problem is, the "pick-up radius" for Cox only includes the state of Ohio. A pick-up radius is the distance authorities are willing go to arrest and transport a suspect.

Other pick-up radius possibilities limit authorities to the county in question, the county and adjacent ones or anywhere in the United States. The pick-up radius is determined in proportion to the severity of the suspect's crime, Cooksey said.

Since Cox is charged with fifth-degree felonies, the least severe type of a felony charge, the pick-up radius was established as the state of Ohio. So even though authorities are aware he lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. -- and his address there is listed on the court's website -- Cox's case likely won't go to trial.

That doesn't sit well with at least one Reflector reader.

"Michael Paul Cox ... (allegedly) sold drugs, got busted, moved to another state and is living happily ever after. Never went to jail," a concerned reader wrote, alerting the newspaper to the situation.

"For a fifth-degree felony, it's going to cost a lot of money to go down to Florida and pick someone up," said Cooksey, who declined to estimate a cost.

If Cox returns to Ohio and an officer pulls him over for a traffic violation, he could be arrested on the outstanding warrant. If that would happen in a county adjacent to Huron County, there wouldn't be an extradition hearing, Cooksey said. If it's not an adjacent county, such a hearing would take place. Counties adjacent to Huron are Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Lorain, Richland, Sandusky and Seneca.



gee whizz, such a nice story! gives me a warm fuzzy feeling all over! i love happy endings!

Paranoid Illusion

Now if we can just get the rest of the criminals in Ohio to join him...

Whiskey Tango F...

i would rather have this keeping him away than to have him goto kangaroo court. All they will do is slap him on the wrist and send him home. This is a bigger deterrent. Good thing he chose drugs rather than drinking... They drop the hammer on a drunk around here!
The bad/good news is criminals now know how to get out of crimes. The good news is that they have to leave our community to do so. Hopefully there is someone who watches the friends and family of these wanted felons during the holidays to see if they come home for christmas.


"RECOGNIZANCE OF ACCUSED - $5000/10% CASH BOND POSTED BY L**** K****" perhaps they should go for bond forfeiture, take the additional $4500 and get him with that money...


Thanks NR..now noone will be left in Norwalk!

Yall Make Me Sick

Don't send them here to Florida let him pay like the rest of the druggies!


I went to school with this guy a long time ago and this news is far from surprising


Florida can have him!! Sucks that he got away with what he did... but I guess he is the one who always has to look over his shoulder... I think they should add a page and list all the deadbeat parents out there who don't pay child support! What a long list that would be! HEHE!

Sitting In The ...

Karma doesn't care what state you live in it will eventually find you.


Yes, yes it will. It doesn't pick sides, it doesn't care if YOU think that you've already paid the piper because of going through this accident or that accident, it cares about how you're acting and treating others in the here and now. Are you helping to repair the karma from your past or are you just adding more bad karma on to your future.


Better he leave the state than the state send him to treatment like everyone else.


Well on one hand it's telling a lot of criminals, if you did something minor enough this is how you can avoid jail time. Then on the other hand maybe it can help get a lot of criminals out of the area by telling them how to avoid jail time.


Moving doesn't fix the problem, though. It just relocates it. Eventually most become repeat offenders, and it means someone ELSE has to deal with it, WITHOUT the benefit of a previous conviction to strengthen the sentence. Why not just convict him in absentia? Then if/when he comes back, he goes directly to jail or prison till his time or fine are paid. Plus, prosecutors in follow-up cases have the benefit of a previous conviction. Something to ponder.....


What was he selling?

hit the road jack

I know of a guy who has owed cs for over 40 years and they know he's around and been here for a long time,no one has done a thing and never will.

Ellis dee

Let it go. Who cares doctors give it out worse drugs than this guy

hor mone

I cain't come back.


ha! love it!


hahaa!! :D


I think it's ridiculous that the caring citizen who wrote in to begin with, and the Reflector for that matter, have nothing better to do with their time than to make such a big deal out of a man who sold less than an ounce of marijuana almost a decade ago. Really this is front page news!?

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Less than an OZ? That is front page news.


Less than an ounce, but the trash thats stealing all around Huron county to support their heroin addictions get arrested and released a day later. Maybe tell these pieces of s#%t to move on to Fla so the rest of us can sleep at night knowing our stuff will be there when we wake up.