News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Feds Wrap Up ‘Operation Safe Harbors’ Locating Wanted Felons And Sex Offenders In SW Washington

Three Day Enforcement Operation Concludes with Training for Police, Tribal, and School Staff on Child Safety Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2014

            A three-day enforcement operation led by the U.S. Marshal Service concluded today with the apprehension of 89 felons including 10 sex offenders in Southwest Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  ‘Operation Safe Harbors’ was aimed at locating wanted felons and checking the status of registered sex offenders in Grays Harbor, Pacific, and Mason Counties.  The operation concludes with a day-long training for local law enforcement, tribal authorities, victim advocates, and school staff about child safety issues related to sex predators and online communication.

            “I commend the leadership of the U.S. Marshal Service working with local law enforcement to remove wanted felons from the community,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “Just one offender can have a significant impact on a smaller community.  Sex offenders in rural areas, just like those in urban settings, need to know that law enforcement is watching.  The training today will ensure that more adults will be attuned to the current threats to the safety of our children.”

            Working with local sheriff and police departments, the U.S. Marshal Service identified felons who were the subject of warrants from various jurisdictions.  Over three days, six teams of law enforcement officers arrested 89 offenders on fugitive warrants.  As part of their sex offender registration responsibilities, the Marshal Service did compliance checks on 101 sex offenders in Grays Harbor County to ensure they are complying with their conditions of release.  The compliance checks also included the collection of DNA samples for the sex offenders who had not yet provided a DNA sample to the data base.

            The work of the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force led to arrests outside the state of Washington.  Sex offenders with warrants out for their arrest in Grays Harbor County were arrested in Idaho, Oregon, near Reno, Nevada, and in San Diego, California.  A defendant wanted for child molestation in Grays Harbor County was arrested by the task force in Montesano, Washington.

            In a day-long training for local law enforcement, victim advocates, and service providers, experts provided information on identifying and prosecuting child sex trafficking, child pornography, and sex offender failure to register violations.  Speakers discussed internet safety and ways to identify victims of child exploitation.

            Those participating in Operation Safe Harbors include Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force, United States Attorney’s Office, Grays Harbor County Sheriff, Mason County Sheriff, Pacific County Sheriff, Hoquiam Police Department, Washington State Department of Corrections, and Squaxin Island Tribal Police.

 

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