Law enforcement agents check in on registered sex offenders

Law enforcement agents check in on registered sex offenders

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The Marshals knocked at the sex offenders' doors unannounced to make sure they were following the sex offender registry laws. The Marshals knocked at the sex offenders' doors unannounced to make sure they were following the sex offender registry laws.
"The ones we have arrested who have been living with kids, if we don't go out there and check on them, they may have a girlfriend in the house and she may have kids there, so we don't know unless we check," said coordinator Derrick Swenson "The ones we have arrested who have been living with kids, if we don't go out there and check on them, they may have a girlfriend in the house and she may have kids there, so we don't know unless we check," said coordinator Derrick Swenson
Another sex offender was checked during a traffic stop. Another sex offender was checked during a traffic stop.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

HARRIMAN (WATE) - The U.S. Marshal Service just wrapped up a two-day, eight-hour operation, where they partnered with local law enforcement in Roane County to check on sex offenders. 

The Marshals knocked at the sex offenders' doors unannounced to make sure they were following the sex offender registry laws.

Before law enforcement can hit the streets in search of sex offenders they must map out a plan, the goal, to make unannounced visits to the 105 registered sex offenders living in Roane County. 

The marshals, local law enforcement agencies and District Attorney General Russell Johnson worked together in the operation.

"We provide advice. They'll probably call in and say, 'Hey we've got this situation or that situation. Which charges, which statute do you want to proceed under?' That sort of thing to give them some advice," said District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

After the groups are assigned which sex offenders to check, law enforcement officials, including Deputy U.S. Marshal John Sanchez, hit the road.

"We're going to go look for him. He's on the sex offender registry for sexual exploitation of a minor," said Sanchez.

The first registered sex offender they checked on was in compliance with the law.

Depending on the charge, some sex offenders are not allowed to have computers or live with children. Registered sex offenders are also not allowed to live near parks or schools and must register the address where they live.

"We're going to check their driver's license, check their ID. We will be going inside their homes," said Sex Offender Investigations Coordinator Derrick Swenson.

Normally the registered sex offenders must go to the local law enforcement agency or parole officer every few months to check in.

But with assistance from the U.S. Marshals, local law enforcement will have enough manpower to go to the sex offenders' homes to make sure the rules are being followed.

"The ones we have arrested who have been living with kids, if we don't go out there and check on them, they may have a girlfriend in the house and she may have kids there, so we don't know unless we check," said Swenson.

The U.S. Marshals pair up with local law enforcement and do about four sex offender compliance check operations a year. Swenson says, on average, ten percent of the sex offenders will be in violation of the law.

One registered sex offender was not at the location where he was registered. 

"If he's across state lines without registering, then we'll refer this to prosecution," said Sanchez.

Another sex offender was checked during a traffic stop. He, too, was in violation. 

"He needs to update his driver's license right now," said Sanchez.

U.S. Marshals hope the random checks make the community feel safer and help to keep the sex offenders in compliance.

Last time the U.S. Marshals checked Roane County was in 2011. Eight arrests were made. 

To see the registered sex offenders living near your home, you can visit the state's sex offender registry website and put in your address.

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