New Oklahoma Law Would Regulate Bounty Hunter Business

Monday, February 25th 2013, 6:13 pm

By: News On 6

Right now in Oklahoma, anyone can be a bounty hunter, even convicted felons. Bounty hunters in Oklahoma also have more authority than police, because they can kick in your door without a warrant.

A bill at the state capitol would require all bounty hunters to be trained, licensed and regulated.

Lenny Biggers is a bounty hunter. He showed us examples of fellow bounty hunters who have outstanding warrants for their arrest. 

"This gentleman has outstanding warrants in Indiana for escape from a detention facility. He's also a convicted felon working as a bounty hunter, and he's on the run," he said.

"This next gentleman, we all know quite well: Adam McAdoo."

Adam McAdoo was arrested last year, accused of taking $1,900 from a woman after promising to get her daughter out of jail. She says he just pocketed the cash.

Lenny Biggers says there are too many people in his profession, giving the legit guys a bad name. He says it's high time Oklahoma passed a law requiring training and licensing of bounty hunters.

"The ones that are legitimate are pleased with it; others, not so happy with it. They know the clock is ticking and it's a matter of time before they're out of business," he said.

I covered a case last summer where three men kicked in a woman's door looking for a fugitive, but they had the wrong house and when police got there, two of the men were arrested because they had warrants.

5/14/2012 Related Story: Bounty Hunters Arrested After Entering West Tulsa Home

Senate Bill 1013 would require all bounty hunters to be certified by the Council On Law Enforcement, Education and Training. Bounty hunting without a license would be a felony.

It also says they can no longer forcefully enter a house to get a fugitive or they'll be guilty of burglary. It requires them to be bonded and carry liability insurance and says they can't have anything on their uniform or vehicle that gives the impression they're with law enforcement, like police, detective, or recovery agent. Everything must say only, bail enforcer. 

"No more fugitive recovery agent, nothing like that," said Lenny Biggers, bounty hunter.

In full disclosure, Lenny Biggers was convicted in 1996 of a felony, but he was pardoned the very next year.

Bills just like this have failed many times in the past but this time the Bondsman Association is on board. The bill is out of the Senate Committee and moves next to the House.


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