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For Immediate Release

Contact:
March 14, 2013 DUSM John Sanchez, District of East Tennessee
(865) 545-4182 ext.261
Four County Sex Offender Compliance Operation Keeps Offenders in Line

Johnson City, TN - A three-day, four-county sex offender compliance check involving federal, state, and local agents successfully ended today in Johnson City. Through the three days of Operation "Hair of the Dog", 68 sex offenders in the first judicial district, which includes Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington Counties, were targeted and checked by law enforcement officers.

During the visits, officers thoroughly checked the home of every registered sex offender to confirm that the individual was in compliance with the rules sex offenders need to follow. Officers also checked any information previously provided by the offender.

The checks resulted in the arrest of five individuals (four offenders and one person who had outstanding warrants) and 15 violation reports being submitted to the courts:

  • In Carter County, one offender was arrested for possession of unlawful drugs, pornography and alcohol consumption. Violation reports on four offenders will be submitted to the court for violations ranging from having unreported email addresses and internet access to possession of large amounts of pornography.
  • In Johnson County two individuals were arrested (one sex offender and one who had outstanding warrants). Violation reports on four offenders will be submitted to the court for violations ranging from unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of more than five hundred rounds of ammunition, and possession of unlawful drugs.
  • In Washington and Unicoi Counties, two offenders were arrested. Violation reports on seven offenders will be submitted to the court for violations ranging from unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition to possession of pornography.

The following agencies were involved:

United States Marshals Service for the Eastern District of Tennessee along with Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force officers from Sevier, and Blount County;
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms;
Tennessee department of Corrections - Northeast Correctional Complex;
Probation and Parole for the First Judicial District;
Carter County Sheriff's Office;
Johnson County Sheriff's Office;
Unicoi County Sheriff's Office;
Washington County Sheriff's Office; and the
Elizabethton City Police Department.

Convicted sex offenders are required to follow several rules once they are released from prison. For example, a person who was convicted of enticing a minor through the internet may be required to report any email address or social media account he/she may have as a condition of his/her release. Sex offenders whose victim was a minor are not allowed to live with children who are not their biological son or daughter. These rules and requirements are set in place to allow for the offender's release and protect the general public at the same time. Law enforcement officers conduct sex offender compliance checks to make sure that the offenders are following these rules and not trying to circumvent the safety mechanisms set in place.

"This is an excellent example of federal, state, and local agencies working together to ensure the safety of the people in East Tennessee. We managed to cover a large amount of territory and check a great number of offenders in a small time period. This was possible because everyone gave their best and we all worked together. " Said U.S. Marshals Inspector Derrick Swenson. "We are thankful to the Marshal's Service, the ATF, the Tennessee Department of Corrections and everyone else for coming out and helping us with this operation. This was a team effort and it was a success." Added Jill Cooper, Probation and Parole manager for the first judicial district.

Under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the U.S. Marshals apprehended 11,072 sex offenders, initiated 3,025 cases, issued 426 warrants and arrested 360 people for other violations of the law during the 2010 fiscal year.

Further information on the Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force can be found at: http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/tn-e/taskforces/index.html

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

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