US Marshalls worked with State and local officials on Monday to do an address check of more than 60 sex offenders in Washington County.
“We try to do this three times a year,” said Washington County Sheriff Roger Newlon. “It’s a good idea to make sure everyone is where they say they are.”
Also, the US Marshall provided equipment for the Sheriff’s Department to use specifically for sex offender police work.
“They asked us if we needed anything to be put on a wish list,” said Newlon. “We had an old camera we used to take pictures. So they provided a new camera, computer and scanner just to be used for this.”
A federal agent, state police and a member of the local sheriff’s department along with a member of the probation department spread out Monday in four groups around the county.
Newlon said it would take a few days to complete the process.
Officers approached the homes where the sex offenders in Washington County are registered.
“We just like to make sure they are living where they say they are living,” said Newlon.
He used the example that by law sex offenders are not allowed to live within 1000 feet of a school or day care.
Newlon said they approach a home, knock on the door and make inquiries if the offender is living there.
“If we find evidence they are not there, that starts a legal process,” said Newlon. “Or if we find they are violating their probation in some way — that can lead to additional charges.”
If members of the public want to search the sex offender database and learn if there are offenders living near them, they can go to http://sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54887
The Washington County IN Sheriff’s Office maintains an OffenderWatch® portal as a community service.
There is a presentation on the website to help you get a better understanding of the facts about registered sex offenders and what the local office is doing to comply with the law.
Those interested can also sign up for email alerts on the above site.
Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin told the officers he would assist with filing any charges if they were to find someone in violation of their probation.
Four groups set out after lunch on Monday, each with 10-11 names. Newlon and Pekin Town Marshall Jeff Thomas each led a group.
“We’re not only checking to make sure they’re at the correct address, but also looking to see if they have weapons, child porn, etc.” said one federal agent.