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For Immediate Release

Contact:
July 25, 2017 Senior Inspector Barry Golden (954) 214-0301;
Detective Tracy Figone, Fort Lauderdale Police Dept.
Public Information Officer (954) 828-6433
Fort Lauderdale Police, FDLE and U.S. Marshals Arrest Over 20 Transient Sex Offenders
Fort Lauderdale, FL - United States Marshal Amos Rojas Jr., Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Commissioner Rick Swearingen announce the arrest of 22 sex offenders who were registered as “transient” in the City of Fort Lauderdale. Many of the arrested sex offenders refused to follow Florida law when it comes to registering as transient.

From June 1st to July 14th, detectives from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department identified over 25 sexual offenders who were registering as living at various intersections in the City of Fort Lauderdale who are required by Florida law to report in person to the Sheriff’s Office in Broward County every 30 days. Failing to do so is a 3rd degree felony.

During the Operation “Here Not There”, Fort Lauderdale Police detectives, U.S. Marshals and FDLE agents arrested 12 non-compliant transient sex offenders on the Fort Lauderdale Police arrest warrants, and 10 other transient offenders were arrested on probation and parole warrants.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seller said “the City of Fort Lauderdale truly appreciates the outstanding collaborative effort of the U.S. Marshals, FDLE, and our Fort Lauderdale Police Department during this very successful joint operation. Actively pursuing these sex offenders who are registered as transient in our city but who failed to comply with the law ultimately and clearly results in a safer community, and we are very grateful”.

Fort Lauderdale Vice-Mayor Bruce Roberts said “the efforts of the U.S. Marshals in conjunction with FDLE, and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department were extraordinary. The apprehension of the individuals who took advantage of registering as a transient in the City of Fort Lauderdale, then failing to comply with the law, depicts the dedication and teamwork by all during this operation”.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was instrumental in providing analytical and investigative support on transient sex offenders throughout the operation with FDLE agents assisting in some of the arrests. FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said “I am pleased that the vigilance and hard work of our members and those of our partners have brought these predators and offenders into compliance. Protecting our children and other vulnerable citizens is a high priority of FDLE. Those that present a danger to them will never overcome the dedication and perseverance of law enforcement, especially when we work together”.

Amos Rojas Jr., United States Marshal for the Southern District of Florida said “it is essential for the protection of our most vulnerable in society that the laws regarding sex offender registration are adhered to. Those that fail to comply with the law will be arrested and prosecuted”. Marshal Rojas also stated “When law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with one another, great things can be accomplished to benefit our citizenry. The US Marshals Service and FDLE plan to use this enforcement model on future operations and will gladly partner with any municipality seeking such an initiative.”

During the sex offender operation, the investigation revealed that a majority of those transient offenders were living in other areas of Broward County such as Pompano, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Oakland Park and unincorporated Fort Lauderdale while registering as transient in the city of Fort Lauderdale.

The Operation did not center on where these transient sex offenders were living. The main focus was the fact these offenders were required to report or re-register every 30 days, but refused to abide by state law. In October of 2014, the Florida legislature enacted the transient law on those offenders who do not have a “permanent” address. Broward and Miami Dade County have more transient sex offenders than any other county in the state of Florida.

During the joint operation, one sex offender was arrested in New York, one offender was captured in Colorado. Another transient offender was arrested in Monroe County on the Fort Lauderdale Police Department arrest warrant. Sex offenders that cross state lines and do not register properly may be subject to federal prosecution as well.

Data shows that in 2010, the total number of transient offenders in Broward County was 102. That number is approaching 400 in 2017. Transient sex offenders make it harder for law enforcement to verify exactly where these individuals are living. These joint sex offender initiatives help to keep those sex offenders who are registering as transient compliant with Florida law. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department, FDLE and the U.S. Marshals will continue to monitor transient offenders in the City of Fort Lauderdale to make sure they remain compliant with the State registration requirements.

The successful apprehension of these sex offenders is the result of investigative efforts by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the U.S. Marshals Service.

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

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