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For Immediate Release

Contact:
May 08, 2014 Dante G. Salazar, Deputy U.S. Marshal (619) 379-5917
Keara Villareal, Deputy U.S. Marshal (760) 975-7681
Southern District of California - San Diego (619) 557-6620;
USMS Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065
U.S. Marshals Target Sex Offenders During 2 Day Sweep

San Diego, CA - The U.S. Marshals Service in collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies conducted a 2 day operation which focused on felony warrants for individuals wanted for various sex offenses and 165 compliance checks on registered sex offenders. Operation Safe County was coordinated by the San Diego Fugitive Task Force and the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) which involved more than 50 law enforcement officers.

Operation Safe County’s mission was to make the community safer by taking criminals off the streets. The sweep targeted subjects wanted for various sex offenses to include: Rape, Child Molestation, Kidnapping, Pimping, Possession of Child Pornography, Indecent Exposure, Sexual Assault, and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. During the warrant sweep there were 7 arrests and 13 cleared warrants. The operation targeted several cities in San Diego County and led to investigations that crossed into other areas of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Several significant arrests took place during Operation Safe County. Stephen Gallegos was wanted by the Omaha Police Department in Nebraska for 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. Mr. Gallegos had been on the run for over a year and had a significant criminal history. Another arrest involved Errol Newsom who was wanted by Oceanside Police Department for Rape with Force and Sexual Assault with a Minor. Both individuals were arrested as part of the operation and booked into San Diego County Jail.

The second day of the operation focused on conducting 165 compliance checks on registered sex offenders in the North County. The primary focus of the compliance checks was to validate information provided by sex offenders during the registration and periodic re-registration requirements under California State Law. Sex offenders not in compliance with state law were advised to update information and will be further investigated. Certain cases may become federal investigations due to offenders violating the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA) which is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. SORNA provides a set of minimum standards for sex offender’s registration and notification in the United States. Sex offenders not following the guidelines under SORNA can be prosecuted under federal law.

U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of California, Steven Stafford, stated, “Operation Safe Counties primary goal was to arrest sexual predators who posed serious danger to our community. The end result was a prime example what can be done when local, state and federal agencies work together.”

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force would like to thank all of the participating agencies:

  • U.S. Marshals Service
  • San Diego County Probation Department
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • United States Border Patrol
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Escondido Police Department
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • La Mesa Police Department
  • El Cajon Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Drug Enforcement Agency

The San Diego Fugitive Task Force is a division of the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force and is comprised of 16 federal, state and local agencies and is part of a network of U.S. Marshals Task Forces across the country. The San Diego Fugitive Task Force arrests more than 2,200 dangerous criminals every year.

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

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