Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Have I been screaming from the Rooftops About? THIS

: Investigations :

How many registered sex offenders aren't where they're supposed to be?

Tracking sex offenders
Posted: 10/25/201
Baltimore - By ISAAC WOLF

Scripps Howard News Service

Thousands of convicted sex offenders are evading state and federal authorities, congregating in regions thought to have lax enforcement, slipping back and forth to Mexico or disregarding laws on reporting their whereabouts.

As states and federal authorities stitch together a national system for overseeing America’s 700,000 convicted sex offenders, they face a sobering challenge: Locating the estimated 100,000 sex offenders who aren’t saying where they are.

State and local authorities, working with the U.S. Marshals Service, are conducting sex offender sweeps, checking old addresses and hunting down the absconds. Often times, officials say, the offenders are where they have been along – they’ve just fallen behind on paperwork. But sometimes not.

“They could be up to no good, stalking another child. You never know,” said Tom Henman, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal of the Child Predator Apprehension Team in the Arizona District. “Every arrest of a sex offender that we arrest is a good case for us.”

Henman and other U.S. Marshals have been busy. Since landmark federal sexual predator legislation passed in 2006, the agency has been tasked with helping local and state law enforcement locate these convicted offenders, who are required by state and local laws to report their whereabouts. The federal agency has supplemented state and local authorities nationwide by arresting 11,853 sex offenders through May 2010 for registration infractions, such as failing to register, or for moving without notifying authorities, according to data from the USMS Justice Detainee Information System. Frequently, these AWOL offenders had been convicted of crimes including rapes, child molestation or sodomy of a minor, the data show.

Scripps Howard News Service obtained the records under a Freedom of Information Act request, the first time they have been released to the media. The data shows:

-- The USMS is finding and arresting a larger number of off-the-grid sex offenders each year. In 2007, USMS agents arrested 2,221 on sex offender registration charges; this year they are on track to nab about 4,500.

-- States where the USMS has made the most AWOL sex offender arrests include Texas (1003), Ohio (851), California (776) and Florida (654).

-- Almost 1 out of 8 absconded sex offenders caught by the USMS had multiple warrants out for their arrest, some having dozens. David Martin and Dennis Hubbard, both arrested in West Virginia, were wanted on 35 warrants each.

The USMS work comes as the United States is approaching a population of one million sex offenders. America has added 100,000 registered sex offenders in the last three years according to records from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Kristen Anderson, director of the case analysis division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says that traditionally, one of law enforcement’s challenges has been oversight of sex offenders who move to different states.

“We have more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States,” said Anderson. When someone crosses over (to another jurisdiction), what are the communications between those agencies? That’s one of the things I’ve really seen improve, especially over the last five years,” she said. “We all have to talk to each other.”

The Marshals Service is taking several steps to beef up its efforts to hunt down AWOL sex offenders. By year’s end, 100 full-time USMS agents will investigate sex offenders – a tripling over the course of the year, according to Derrick Driscoll, Chief Inspector of the Investigative Operations Division, Sex Offender Investigations Branch.

U.S. Marshals are also making better use of existing law enforcement data, including the FBI’s National Crime Information Center records. According to John Feeney of the National Sex Offender Targeting Center, the Marshals Service began receiving daily updates from the FBI’s sex offender records in May. Prior to that, the USMS had access to the data, but not in real time.

However, even when sex offenders are registered on paper, that doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. Eric Anderson, the Arizona-based deputy U.S. marshal, says many sex offenders are lying about their whereabouts.

“We have so many people that register as homeless,” he says. “But you're seeing people registering homeless when they have gold chains, nice clothes, and are well groomed. You know they're not homeless.”

Sex offenders from around the country flock to New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California, in hopes they can slip unnoticed into Mexico, Anderson said. Other destinations for offenders trying to evade law enforcement include Michigan and Washington state, close to Canada.

“Those are magnets for sex offenders,” Anderson said of the five states.

Sex offenders take advantage of the fact that different states have laws with varying degrees of sex offender oversight, said Scott Matson,

Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. “Offenders are shopping around for jurisdictions where they may have less requirements,” he said.

Matson’s office is working with states and territories to help implement uniform oversight of sex offenders. The Adam Walsh Act passed in 2006 requires out of state offenders to register within three business days. But as of September 2010, only four states – Florida, Ohio, Delaware and South Dakota– and two sets of Indian tribes had implemented the federal rules for registering sex offenders.

Arizona gives up to 10 days, said Anderson, of the Marshals Service. Out-of-state sex offenders take advantage of this, by perpetually travelling between states, staying for a few days and leaving before they are required to register, Anderson said.

These guys are dangerous,” Anderson said. “They have a sexual appetite that can only be satisfied by going after who they deem to be sexually arousing – such as kids, minors, toddlers, infants – and doing it by rape. When they want sex, they want it then.”

Case in point is Lester Blackbear, 53, who was convicted of four rapes and is a suspect in a 1983 rape/murder in Oklahoma, according to Eric Anderson, a Deputy U.S. marshal based in Arizona, which has 588 out-of-compliance sex offenders.

Blackbear slipped out of Oklahoma several years ago, Anderson said. He came to Phoenix, perhaps by 2007. While there, Blackbear flew under the radar. He slept in parks. He frequented flophouses and was even taken in by an unsuspecting family. He kept away from riding buses, which might have netted clues for authorities, Anderson said.

But the Marshals Service received a tip that Blackbear might be in Phoenix, and on May 18, Anderson arrested Blackbear. He’s been returned to Oklahoma, where he has been questioned in the 1983 rape/murder.

1) Sex Offenders and their advocates swear to high heaven a "failure to Register" is because Offenders cant find Housing! Yea Right! Any offender who cannot comply with walking into a police station to let them know they are there, is doing alot more than "failing to register" this charge is much more harmful to the public than offenders want you to believe, so the next time to you it listed on their flyer? Be especially leery of them.

2) Offenders slipping back and forth into Mexico? You can bank these offenders arent "homegrown" ..Thanks Homeland Security!

3) Offender shopping, hate to be the one who told you so, but this one makes my point even more so than others, Jurisdictions with laxer residency restrictions, less oversight draw the most dangerous offenders.

4) States who allow an offender to list their address as "transient"? are just plain lazy and have thrown their citizens to the wolves!!!!!!!!!Thanks Florida!!!!!!idiots


Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you Val but this entire article is a load of bullcrap. I certainly didn't move from Ohio to Alabama because the laws are "more lax." Arizona is not exactly a state with lax laws, nor is California, nor is Washington.

I won't touch the immigration issue. I hate to call you out on that because you make it obvious that's your primary focus. Besides, your comment is off. Supposedly registrants are migrating into Canada and Mexico, not coming in, according to this article, which is exactly what I thought you wanted.

Eric Anderson is an idiot and a glorified beat cop who reads even less facts than the average citizen, but then again, I am never surprised when I read the words of a beat cop.

There was already a study by your "favorite researcher" that debunked the theory absconded registrants are more dangerous than those who register.

Speaking of Levenson, she's releasing a study burying the 100,000 missing sex offender myth.

By the way, very few registrants register as transient. Again, kudos to Levenson.

Valigator said...

Face it, if it doesnt say what you want it to say or doesnt lean in your favor..its always bull crap right? Or they are idiots...either way, Eric Anderson isnt on a sex offender registry, so if you dont mind I'll favor his version..As far as migrating to laxer states? The proper term should probably be "laxer enforcement" when states as mine or so overwhelmed with offenders, its a pretty safe bet to assume most are under the radar when they dont have someone like me chaisoing their tails, funny thing about that, just this am..I found another one in violation..ya sure dont have to look far if you have a mind too..

Valigator said...

Nov. 22, 2010 - ICE arrests 85 convicted criminal aliens, fugitives in enforcement surge throughout Colorado, and part of Wyoming: ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers launched a four-day operation that netted 85 arrests of criminal illegal aliens in Colorado and Wyoming. Arrested individuals had criminal convictions ranging from sexual assault to drunk driving.

Nov. 22, 2010 - ICE arrests 18 in operation targeting sex offenders in Georgia: ICE ERO officers arrested 18 criminal aliens who had committed offenses ranging from sexual battery to child molestation. The arrests were conducted under Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Alien Removal), which targets at-large criminal aliens who are removable due to convictions for sexual offenses

Its finally good to read with some regularity that ICE is finally getting off their backides and doing what they have been paid to do all these many years. "Criminal aliens" have been the catalyst for either action or inaction on a myriad of issues in this country and the public (me) just wont stand for it any longer...every single day I open the papers in South Florida and am bombarded with names one cant pronounce tearing at the very fabric of this state..Walk into any shopping center and it will be two hours before you hear English spoken..they may be taking over the country but I'll be damned if I hand it over..on a platter..if they are indeed migrating to other countries? It surely isnt in numbers that one would notice..and God help those Countries and their kids..