Arlington, VA – Combined efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service and several law enforcement agencies sent a strong message to sex offenders across the nation: Comply with all sex offender laws and registration requirements during the Halloween holiday.
The U.S. Marshals Service sponsored Halloween operations in 15 counties across 11 states. Coordinated through partnerships with area law enforcement agencies, these operations primarily involved local officers conducting compliance checks on sex offenders at the offenders’ residences. Operation personnel also investigated noncompliant sex offenders and arrested sex offenders with active warrants.
While U.S. Marshals partner with officers and detectives throughout the year, the Halloween holiday presents a unique opportunity for law enforcement agencies to work as a team to identify and locate noncompliant sex offenders. The holiday is safer when law enforcement officers are in towns and neighborhoods conducting sex offender enforcement.
In total, the Halloween operations resulted in 1,716 sex offender compliance checks during the weeks preceding the holiday as well as on the night of Halloween. Operation personnel arrested 19 sex offenders for failing to register as a sex offender. Personnel seized firearms and drugs, including fentanyl and methamphetamine, and arrested 12 additional sex offenders on active warrants, including a sex offender arrested on a warrant for possessing firearms while a convicted felon. Several more sex offenders now face community supervision violations for failing to comply with the terms of their probation or parole. When possible, operation personnel also made it a priority to hand out Halloween candy to children.
Halloween operations occurred in the following locations: Pima County, Arizona; Benton County, Arkansas; San Bernardino County, California; San Diego County, California; Osceola County, Florida; Coffee County, Georgia; LaPorte County, Indiana; Jones County, Iowa; Jefferson County, Kentucky; Buchanan County, Missouri; Christian County, Missouri; Greene County, Missouri; McMinn County, Tennessee; Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; and Waukesha County, Wisconsin.
“We want to thank the many agencies who partnered with the U.S. Marshals Service during this Halloween holiday,” said Peter Marketos, Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshals Service, for the Investigative Operations Division. “Strong interagency partnerships are what allowed these Halloween operations to be so successful.”
“Trick-or-treating was safer this year due to dedicated personnel from several law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service,” said Floriano Whitwell, Chief of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Sex Offender Investigations Branch. “Investigators working long hours, including on Halloween itself, had a direct impact on community safety.”
The U.S. Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary law enforcement agency for sex offender and fugitive investigations. The Halloween operations represented the U.S. Marshals Service’s aggressive enforcement strategy to help ensure the safety of children and communities across the country.
Created following the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Investigations Branch of the U.S. Marshals Service carries out three principal responsibilities: Assist state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities in locating and apprehending noncompliant and fugitive sex offenders; investigate sex offender violations for federal prosecution; and assist in identifying and locating sex offenders relocated because of a major disaster.
Photos for media use are available at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/usmarshals/52gMH3qEC2.
Noncompliant sex offenders include individuals who are in violation of their state or federal sex offender registration requirements. Sex offenders with active warrants include individuals who have state or federal warrants for their arrest. Sex offender compliance checks involve law enforcement officers contacting sex offenders, often at the offenders’ residences, to confirm addresses and registration information. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
For additional information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (703) 740-1699.