A 50-year-old registered sex offender who police said violated his probation by removing a tracking bracelet nearly two months ago was arrested in Middletown after law enforcement found him hiding in a tent in a wooded area near Cedar Lane.
Gary Stocking, of 30 Willow St. in Meriden, was taken into custody without incident Thursday afternoon following a wanted person search that began in the Westlake area and ended near the Middletown reservoir. He was charged with violating his probation, and was held by local police on a $100,000 bond.
According to a police press release, Stocking had been wanted since May 28 when police said he removed an electronic monitoring device, informally known as a tracking bracelet, which had been attached to him following his release from prison on April 18.
Stocking had just finished a two-year jail sentence for a charge of second-degree possession of child pornography, according to the state's Sex Offender Registry.
Part of a condition of his release was to wear the tracking bracelet so that Stocking’s probation officer could monitor the man's location at all times. Once the bracelet was removed, however, the officer was unable to determine Stocking's wherabouts.
A judge issued a warrant for his re-arrest and state police began searching for him. This week, the Middletown Police Department received information that Stocking may be in the area here, and a search commenced Thursday, ending with the suspect being found in the woods.
The search included Middletown officers August DeFrance, Robert Kraeger, Jason Tetrault and Sergeant William Porter along with assistance from Connecticut Valley Hospital police, Department of Environment and Energy Protection and the Connecticut State Police Aviation Unit, which assisted in the search with a small plane.