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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 30, 2012 Deputy U.S. Marshal Jerome Fairweather (702) 388-6958; or
Nevada Child Seekers Executive Director Ivet Santiago (702) 458-7009
Operation Trick-or-Treat VI - Keeping Kids Safe from Sex Offenders

Clark and Washoe Counties, NV – In an ongoing effort to make Halloween safer for the children in our communities, Nevada Child Seekers is excited to announce that a partnership of local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marshals are conducting “Operation Trick-or-Treat,” a three day multi agency law enforcement operation to arrest sex offender fugitives and to ensure compliance with sex offender registration requirements by sex offenders in Clark County and Washoe County. This is the sixth straight year the U.S. Marshals has spearheaded this very important operation.

This annual joint operation, a partnership of 33 officers from 13 city, county, state and federal agencies, is being conducted from October 29 through October 31 and its goal is to arrest as many sex offender fugitives as possible and to conduct compliance checks on sex offenders suspected of being out of registration compliance. With half of the operation still remaining, the operation has already been a resounding success. All the teams are still in the field but based on the information we have so far, we expect to conduct over 200 compliance checks and make approximately 15 arrests.

This is not a one-time operation. The U.S. Marshals and its partners on the Nevada FIST (Fugitive Investigative Strike Team) multi-agency task force are conducting this operation in a concerted effort to specifically make the streets as safe as possible for Halloween. However, every day throughout the entire year the U.S. Marshals and its partners aggressively pursue the arrest of sexual offender fugitives and the registration compliance of those convicted sexual offenders living in Nevada. Towards this very important goal, in 2012 the U.S. Marshals Nevada FIST has so far arrested 84 individuals for sex related crimes or registration compliance violations and conducted 972 sex offender registration compliance checks.

In addition to this very important sex offender apprehension mission, the U.S. Marshals Nevada FIST every day pursues the worst of the worst fugitives in Nevada. They effectively leverage the expertise and abilities of ten federal, state, county, and city law enforcement agencies and every year they arrest approximately 600 fugitives wanted for drug, gang, sex, and violence related crimes.

The local law enforcement agencies participating in this operation will follow up and initiate investigations towards the goal of prosecuting the local non-compliant sex offenders, and the U.S. Marshals Service will initiate federal investigations towards the goal of prosecuting the non-compliant sex offenders who have crossed state lines.

In coordination with Nevada Child Seekers, the Operation Trick-or-Treat task force partners dedicated to this operation include the U.S. Marshals Service, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Henderson Police Department, North Las Vegas Police Department, Nevada Department of Investigations, Nevada Division of Parole and Probation, Nevada Department of Corrections, Clark County School Police, Nevada Gaming and Control Board, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Sparks Police Department and the Reno Police Department.

“This collaboration sends the message that we will do what is needed to protect the children in our communities” said Ivet Santiago, executive director of Nevada Child Seekers. U.S. Marshal Christopher Hoye added, “Operation Trick or Treat is a demonstration of the law enforcement community’s commitment to protecting the children of Nevada. We want sexual offenders to know our commitment does not end with this joint operation. We will continue to work year round to arrest sexual offender fugitives and to ensure compliance with existing registration requirements. We are strongly encouraging local sex offenders to properly register to avoid arrest and prosecution.”

The Operation Trick-or-Treat Task Force partners and Nevada Child Seekers want sex offenders to know that law enforcement will be out in force during the week of Halloween to protect the children of Nevada. They also want parents to know there are several ways to keep their children safe on Halloween. Law enforcement is on their side, but they can also follow a few of these tips:

  • Don’t allow children to go trick-or-treating alone in neighborhoods;
  • Children should never go into homes without permission of their parents, remember the “Always Ask First” rule; and
  • Teach children to “Shout Out Loud” and scream if someone tries to trick them with special treats or tries to grab them.

Nevada Child Seekers LogoNevada Child Seekers is a non-profit organization created in 1985 by community leaders dedicated to locating and advocating on behalf of missing, abducted and runaway children. Nevada Child Seekers offers liaison services to family and law enforcement, abduction prevention education and volunteer opportunities that promote the safety of children in our communities. For further information about Nevada Child Seekers, please visit www.nevadachildseekers.org. The site offers information about Nevada Child Seekers’ programs and lists missing children and youth.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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