29 May

The U.S. Marshals partnered with deputies from Wake County and Cumberland County to run compliance checks on registered sex offenders in the Raleigh area. Dubbed “Operation Carolina Shield,” law enforcement officers and federal agents spent four days last week checking in on individuals convicted of sex offenses in South and North Carolina to ensure they were completing requirements of their parole.

There are over 1000 registered sex offenders in Wake and Cumberland County. Operation Carolina Shield focused on verifying the physical address of each registered offender as well as other information that could be used to identify the offender. The individual check-ins resulted in four arrests on four very different charges: failure to register as a sex offender, felon in possession of a firearm, violation of probation and failing to appear in court.

Over 500 checks were made in the Middle District of North Carolina, which includes Durham, Chatham, Orange and Lee Counties. In one check, officers seized a large quantity of child pornography. In the Myrtle beach area, 13 of 432 registered sex offenders were found out of compliance with parole requirements.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison considered Operation Carolina Shield a success, crediting the element of surprise with keeping registered sex offenders in line with parole requirements. “They never know when we are coming, so they are staying in compliance,” noted Sheriff Harrison.

Individuals who are required to register with the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry may be guilty of a felony if they fail to register, fail to notify the sheriff of a change of address, fail to return a verification notice or submit a forged or falsified verification notice.

Source: WRAL.com, “Authorities check on sex offenders in Wake, Cumberland counties,” May 25, 2012

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