For Immediate Release
|May 31, 2016||
Mike Stokes, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal
Western District of Missouri (816) 985-6915
|Operation Safe Spring Targets Non-Compliant Sex Offenders|
Jackson County, MO - In a
collaborative effort, the United States Marshals Service teamed up with
the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and 18 other federal, state and
local law enforcement agencies to conduct the largest scale sex offender
check ever conducted in Jackson County. Entitled “Operation Safe
Spring”, over 140 law enforcement officers came together for a common
goal; 100% sex offender registration compliance. The operation was part
of an ongoing nationwide effort by the United StatesMarshals Service to
assist local law enforcement in monitoring convicted sexual offenders
residing in their communities.
As the sun was rising on May 23, 2016, law enforcement from all over the metro hit the streets. Every residential address provided by the offenders on their registration was checked. This initiative was conducted with zero tolerance. Any offender who had not updated their sex offender registration paperwork within (3) days of any change as required by law or were found to be non-compliant were issued a citation. Those with multiple violations were taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Office. Typical violations include failure to report a change in residential address or employment, possessing unreported electronic devices with internet access or living within 1,000 feet of a school or licensed child care facility.
By the end of the week, officers conducted checks on over 2,100 addresses and businesses. 1,268 contacts were made, 224 citations were issued, 454 offenders were found to be non-compliant and 87 offenders were arrested during the operation. Additionally, arrests were made for narcotics possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result of this operation, 10 federal investigations have been opened for violations of the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA). The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248) contains the SORNA provisions that make it a federal crime for a convicted sex offender (who is required to register) to move to another state without notifying local law enforcement in both jurisdictions. Investigators will continue to attempt contact with offenders who were not personally contacted during this event.
“For those convicted sex offenders in Jackson County who choose not to obey the laws, we have zero tolerance,” Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said. “This compliance sweep demonstrates the commitment this office has to hold those convicted sex offenders accountable and also reaffirming our dedication and obligation to keeping Jackson County safe.” U.S. Marshal Al Lomax and Chief Deputy Scott Seeling expressed their gratitude for the resources that local law enforcement agencies provided for the week long operation. “Their willingness to help is what really made an operation of this scale possible,” said Marshals Service Chief Deputy Scott Seeling.
The mission of the United States Marshals Service Sex Offender Investigations Branch is to protect the public from sex offenders through the coordinated enforcement of sex offender registration laws. Since 2006, the USMS has arrested more than 50,500 fugitive sex offenders, initiated more than 14,200 federal AWA investigations, and arrested close to 2,400 individuals for violation of the act.
The National Sex Offender Public Website provides real-time access to sex offender registration information across the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Anyone seeking to educate themselves, families and communities about sex offenders, sexual abuse and prevention should visit NSOPW at www.nsopw.gov.
The U.S. Marshals Service for the Western District of Missouri is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. and encompasses the western 66 counties of the state.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency