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    Sweep puts 345 sex offenders behind bars, 4 connected to Ark.

    1:42 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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    From the U.S. Marshall's Service:

    ARKANSAS - Today the U.S. Marshals Service concluded Operation Guardian, a three-year, national initiative specifically targeting the country's most dangerous non-compliant sex offenders. Deputy Marshals and law enforcement partners arrested 345 individuals who had failed to register with state authorities as required by law.

    Marshals worked with state and local officials to identify specific non-registering fugitives based on their danger to the public and prior convictions for sex offenses. As of today, USMS investigators have located 427 offenders of 444 sought (or 96 percent of those targeted), including 82 individuals found outside the United States. These individuals represent more than 500 prior convictions for sexual offenses.

    "The United States Marshals Service will not tolerate non-compliant and violent sex offenders who evade the law. The message we send to these individuals is there is nowhere you can hide," said Director Stacia Hylton of the U.S. Marshals Service. "Operation Guardian enabled us to bring to bear the full weight of international, federal, state and local law enforcement resources and intelligence to locate the most egregious sex offenders-those who have victimized innocent children."

    The USMS assigns 129 criminal investigators to conduct sex offender, non-registrant investigations on a full-time basis. Operation Guardian was a collaborative effort led by the Marshals Service in cooperation with Interpol, the Diplomatic Security Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    "The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is proud to partner with the U.S. Marshals in helping to protect our nation's children," said John Ryan, chief executive officer, NCMEC. "We applaud the overwhelming success of Operation Guardian which located hundreds of the country's most dangerous non-compliant sex offenders."

    Among those arrested during Operation Guardian were:

    Ronnie Daniels arrested on August 4th 2010 in Caldwell, Idaho. Daniels was originally convicted in the State of Washington of Rape in 1995 and ordered to register as a sex offender.

    In March 2010, a sex offender compliance operation was conducted in Faulkner County, Arkansas. U.S. Marshals Service Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force (EATF), along with Faulkner County Sheriff's deputies, attempted to verify the registered address of Ronnie Daniels who had moved from Washington to Arkansas in 2008. Daniels was unable to be located at the address he registered with Faulkner County Deputies, at which time a warrant for his arrest was issued charging him with sex offender registration violations.

    Investigation revealed that Daniels had fled the State of Arkansas and moved to the State of Idaho. Daniels was ultimately arrested by U.S. Marshals in Idaho after receiving information from the U.S. Marshals in Arkansas about his whereabouts.

    Isidro Silva arrested on July 30th 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Silva was originally convicted in the State of Florida of Sexual Assault and Attempted Sexual Battery of a female under the age of 12. As a result of this conviction, Silva was required to register as a convicted sex offender.

    In 2009, Silva reported a registered address in Conway, Arkansas and obtained an Arkansas Driver's license. In March 2010, a sex offender compliance operation was conducted in Faulkner County Arkansas. U.S. Marshals EATF, along with Faulkner County Sheriff's deputies, attempted to verify the registered address of Silva, however, they were unsuccessful. A Faulkner County arrest warrant was subsequently issued charging Silva with sex offender registration violations. U.S. Marshals investigation revealed that Silva had been residing at local motels in the State of Oklahoma.

    As a result of Silva's failure to comply with his registration requirements in Arkansas and additional jurisdictions, a federal investigation was initiated by U.S. Marshals related to violations of the Adam Walsh Act. Silva was ultimately indicted by a Grand Jury in the Western District of Oklahoma and a federal arrest warrant was issued. On or about July 30th 2010, Silva was located and arrested without incident in Chicago, Illinois.

    Gordon Smith arrested on May 5th 2010 in Mississippi. In 1985, Smith was convicted of Assault with intent to Rape, Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Kidnapping in the State of Florida. The offense involved the offender abducting a 17 year old female. Based on this conviction, Smith was required to register as a convicted sex offender.

    In August 2009, Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office in the State of Arkansas attempted to make contact with Smith at his address of record. It was discovered that Smith no longer resided at the residence and a warrant was subsequently issued charging Smith with sex offender registration violations.

    Lee County Sheriff's Office personnel requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals EATF in locating and arresting Smith. May 2010, Smith was located by USMS EATF members in the State of Mississippi.

    Natasha Knight arrested on May 25th 2011 in Smith Station, Alabama.
    In 2009, Knight was convicted in the State of Louisiana of Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile. As a result of this conviction, Knight was required to register as a sex offender and placed on probation in Louisiana.

    Knight subsequently moved to White County, Arkansas and failed to register as required. Knight also failed to notify her Louisiana probation officer that she was leaving the state of Louisiana which resulted in a state probation warrant being issued. January 2010, an arrest warrant was issued charging Knight with sex offender registration violations in Arkansas.

    Investigation revealed that Knight fled Arkansas once she learned about the sex offender registration warrants and began living with a boyfriend in Smith Station, Alabama. U.S. Marshals in Alabama ultimately located Knight hiding in the rear of a trailer owned by her boyfriend in Smith Station, Alabama.

    The Behavioral Analysis Unit at the USMS National Sex Offender Targeting Center worked with the investigators to identify information related to the fugitives across a number of personal or social dimensions, including past sexual offending behavior. The prior convictions of the located offenders represent hundreds of victims and thousands of known sexual assaults. Most of the sexual assault events were engaged against children, and many involved extreme violence.

    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates more than 700,000 sex offenders reside in the U.S. and that more than 100,000 are classified as noncompliant or unregistered. Since its inception in 2006, the SOIB has planned and executed more than 900 sex offender compliance and enforcement operations. During these operations, the USMS partnered with more than 4,800 state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct more than 150,000 compliance checks.

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