Charleston, WV - The U.S. Marshals Southern District of West Virginia CUFFED Task Force and West Virginia State Police have just ended a two-week operation targeting non-complaint sex offenders in Kanawha, Wood, and Wirt counties, as well as surrounding areas.
Operation Blue & Gold Shield began August 7th and concluded on August 18, 2023.
Multiple sex offenders taken into custody were found to be non-compliant with the sex offender registry. In total, 39 felony arrests were made in the operation, to include nine for violations of the sex offender registry, and five for sex related crimes. Others with various warrants were also taken into custody for crimes of first-degree murder, attempted murder, second- and third-degree sexual assault, possession of child pornography, soliciting a minor via computer, escape, delivery of controlled substances, and supervised release violations.
During the operation, 150 sex offender compliance checks were conducted by the West Virginia State Police. Out of 150 sex offenders, six were found to be out of compliance. Arrest warrants were obtained for those out of compliance. Two firearms were also seized.
The U.S. Marshals Service also found three non-compliant sex offenders to be in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and The Adam Walsh Act.
One sex offender, Gabriel Allen Hargus, 46, of Mineral Wells, was also indicted in federal court for failure to register as a sex offender.
Hargus is wanted by the U.S. Marshals, the West Virginia State Police, and the West Virginia Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, and is currently evading apprehension.
“The number of arrests and violations discovered over the past two weeks reminds us of the importance of regularly coordinating sex offender verification operations with the West Virginia State Police,” said Southern District of West Virginia U.S. Marshal Michael Baylous. “I hope that this operation puts all sex offenders in West Virginia on notice that if you fail to comply with the law, you will be brought to justice.”
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Hargus or any non-compliant sex offender, you can submit a tip anonymously using USMS Tips or call 1-877-WANTED-2. Tips are kept confidential.