Sex Offender Sweep|Puts 345 Behind Bars

     (CN) – A three-year nationwide sweep by the U.S. Marshals Service resulted in the arrest of 345 dangerous sex offenders who failed to register with state authorities, the Department of Justice said.
     The U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday ended Operation Guardian, an initiative targeting the country’s most dangerous non-compliant sex offenders.
     The Justice Department said U.S. Marshals Service investigators located 427 of the 444 offenders sought, including 82 found outside the United States. The offenders collectively had more than 500 convictions for sexual offenses, most against children and many involving extreme violence, according to a department press release.
     “The U.S. Marshals Service will not tolerate noncompliant and violent sex offenders who evade the law,” said USMS Director Stacia Hylton. “The message we send to these individuals is there is nowhere you can hide.”
     The law enforcement agency assigns 129 full-time investigators to hunt down sex offenders who haven’t registered with state authorities according to law.
     Those arrested included Lee Roy Ramirez, a Wisconsin fugitive wanted for violating probation on a charge of second-degree sexual assault of a child. He was arrested in Oregon on April 22 and is awaiting extradition to Wisconsin, the Justice Department said.
     Also arrested was Darrell Craig Sinclair, a fugitive on a $500,000 arrest warrant for 10 years after being convicted of one count of lewd acts against a child in Los Angeles County in 1976 and seven counts of lewd acts against a child in Orange County in 1983. He was taken into custody in Mexico and later arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport by deputy U.S. marshals.
     Led by the U.S. Marshals Service, Operation Guardian was a cooperative effort with Interpol, the Diplomatic Security Service, Customs and Border Protection and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
     “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,” Hylton said.
     The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that more than 100,000 of the nation’s 700,000 sex offenders “are classified as noncompliant or unregistered,” according to the press release.

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