Police Arrest 30 Sex Offenders in Residence Check
John Albert Gardner III, a convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty April 16 to murdering and raping the San Diego-area teens. He is scheduled to be sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole on May 14. [AP]
Middletown Journal via YellowBrix
May 01, 2010
HAMILTON, OH — Cathy Jones, acting U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, was visiting Middletown in February when she picked up a copy of the local newspaper.
On the front page of the Journal was a headline declaring the sheriff’s office was attempting to keep track of the county’s 475 registered sex offenders with two deputies, one part-time.
“I knew we could help,” Jones said.
Marshals had just finished a series of weeklong operations in other counties teaming up with local police and probation officers to knock on doors to make sure registered sex offenders are complying with the law.
Jones went to work to secure federal funding for a similar operation in Butler County.
This week, 10 groups of three units converged on the county doing residence checks on the men and women who by law are required to register their addresses under the Ohio sexual offender guidelines.
“We had a very successful operation,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones on Friday, April 30, during a joint news conference. “This could not have been done without the shared resources of U.S. Marshal Cathy Jones.”
They made 472 checks with 428 sex offenders in compliance, found living where they are registered. Thirty were arrested for noncompliance, with 10 of those cases referred for “further investigation,” and two were found to be deceased. However, that leaves 12 sex offenders unaccounted for.
“Thirty arrests may not sound like much,” said Sheriff Jones. “Everyone of these crimes you see in the United States where there’s been somebody viciously attacked and raped, molested, probably 90 percent have done this again or are on the registered list somewhere and there’s been no follow up.”
There were an additional 20 “collateral arrests” made, the sheriff said, on outstanding warrants and probation violations. In all, he said, small amounts of drugs were seized, along with 19 weapons of various sizes.
Tuesday morning, April 27, U.S. Marshal Brian Hilsinger, Detective Ron Owen of the sheriff’s office and Butler County Probation Officer Dan Shannon met with Deputy Mike Jacobs, the officer assigned to monitor the county’s register sex offenders.
Jacobs held up a list of people who called that morning in response to Monday’s home checks. If the offender was not home, a letter was left at the residence telling to call within 24 hours.
“I’ve been getting calls all morning,” Jacobs said.
The trio, armed with files and a printout with photos, plotted their course for the day, which would take them to Liberty Twp.
“Most people are very compliant,” Owen said, noting they will not only check identification, but ask if they can look inside the residence.
“Some of these guys are not allowed to have a computer,” he said. “If they have computers, I will ask to look at what they have viewed to make sure it is nothing like child pornography.”
Owen said he took the time to counsel a man on Monday who had been looking at an X-rated adult site, but didn’t break any laws. “I told him it wasn’t a good idea given his past,” Owen said. “He agreed and was a bit embarrassed.”
At two of the Liberty Twp. homes, the men they were looking for were not home. But a trip to the neighbors confirmed they were living where registered.
“Oh, yeah he lives there,” said a man who looked at a photo held up by Owen. “We talked to him about it when he moved in,” the resident said of the man’s sex offender status. “Really he is a pretty good neighbor.”
That is what the officers wanted to hear.
“The guy’s keeping his nose clean, that’s good,” Owen said.
Jones said the benefit of the operation is twofold.
“We want the community to know we are pooling resources,” the Sheriff Jones said. “And we want offenders to know we are checking.”