Man who sunk truck charged for sex crimes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Lockhart man who sunk his truck in a Geneva County river last week is now charged with three counts of sex crimes – including taking a child to Florida for a sex act.

John Samuel Cope, 34, had been wanted for questioning in the case when his truck was found submerged in the Pea River last week.


He was located last Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was extradited Monday to Covington County.

Chief Deputy David And-erson of the Covin-gton County Sheriff’s Office said Cope is now charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. He is being held in the county jail under a $550,000 bond.

“Thanks to a tip from a confidential informant, marshals with the Northwest Florida Violent Crimes Task Force located Cope in Panama City, Fla.,” Anderson said.

“They actually found him walking along the side of the street.”

Anderson declined to comment on the exact nature of the sex case against Cope; however, he did state the charges stem from one victim who is unrelated to Cope. There is also the possibility of other victims in the case, Anderson said.

“We are in the preliminary stages of this investigation,” he said. “I can say that further charges could be pending, and that this is the same individual whose vehicle was used in apparent attempt to conceal his whereabouts.”

Anderson would not confirm or deny the act was Cope’s attempt to fake his own death.