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
information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at
America’s Oldest Federal Law