Man who faked death to avoid registering as sex offender arrested: PCSO

Benjamin Hollins (Courtesy: Pinal County Sheriffs Office)

Officials with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office say they have arrested a 50-year-old man who allegedly faked his own death in order to avoid registering as a sex offender in Arizona.

In a video made to social media, Sheriff Mark Lamb identified the man as Benjamin Hollins.

"Hollins was originally convicted as a sex offender in California more than 20 years ago," read a portion of the post.

Hollins was living in a Pinal County community by 2018, but failed to register his status with officials.

"While working as a behavioral health counselor, he reoffended, kidnapping and attempting to molest a 16-year-old client. He ultimately took a plea deal, was sentenced to supervised probation, and was required to register as a sex offender every year," read a portion of the statement.

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Investigators allege that in 2023, Hollins had a woman help him file a false report alleging he jumped off Roosevelt Bridge.

"Once Hollins was ‘dead,’ his sex offender registration lapsed," read a portion of the post. "Chandler Police detectives did some great work tracking him down to a home in Mesa, where he was living under a false identity."

Hollins was arrested on May 14.

"The family with young children he was living with had no idea about his history," officials wrote.

"Nice try, Benjamin. We found you. You're not dead. We're going to hold you accountable," Sheriff Lamb said in the video.