Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 14, 2013

42 sex offenders found out of compliance

PRINCETON — The bulk of those registered sex offenders found in violation of a recent compliance blitz were from Mercer and McDowell counties, officials said Friday.

State police found that 42 of 54 sex offenders out of compliance were in Mercer and McDowell counties.

“Registering as a sex offender is not optional,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “It’s not something that offenders can simply put on the back burner or casually get around to completing whenever they feel like it. It’s mandatory.”

According to Corp. J.C. Long of the West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment, the sex offenders not in compliance had a variety of violations.

“They can be out of compliance because they have moved, changed their email, phone number, job and car registration,” Long said.

Out of those 42, approximately eight sex offenders are in federal violation, Long said.

A major four-day law enforcement blitz aimed at verifying compliance of more than 317 registered sex offenders currently residing in five southern West Virginia counties found 54 out of compliance, according to a press release on Friday.   

“One registered sex offender out of compliance is one too many,” U.S. Marshal John Foster said in a press release. “The U.S. Marshals Service is thoroughly committed to tracking down fugitives who attempt to evade the law.”

 The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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