FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 17, 2012
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION COMPLIANCE BLITZ
“Operation River Cities” nets 18 arrests in Southern West Virginia; 7 arrests in Eastern Kentucky
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A major two-day law enforcement blitz aimed at verifying compliance of nearly 500 registered sex offenders currently residing in counties located throughout West Virginia and Kentucky resulted in several arrests, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, U.S. Marshal John D. Foster, U.S. Marshal Loren Carl and West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers announced today in Huntington, W.Va.
The initiative, known as Operation River Cities, is a multi-agency law enforcement effort targeting registered sex offenders to determine individual compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, also known as SORNA. Led by the U.S. Marshals Service’s Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division (CUFFED), Operation River Cities netted a total of 18 arrests within the Southern District of West Virginia and 7 arrests and two citations were issued in the Eastern District of Kentucky during compliance checks conducted earlier this month.
“Protecting our children from those who would harm them must always be our top priority,” said U.S. Attorney Goodwin. “Every child is precious, and as recent events have tragically reminded us, their safety requires our constant vigilance.”
“One registered sex offender out of compliance is too many,” Goodwin continued. “That’s why I’ve put special emphasis on prosecuting sex offenders who violate federal registration requirements. And today I want to send a clear message: If you are out of compliance, we will track you down and we will bring you to justice.”
Operation River Cities in West Virginia consisted of approximately 35 federal, state and local law enforcement officers, making up a network of 10 arrest teams. Law enforcement teams completed checks in West Virginia counties of Cabell, Mingo and Wayne during the effort. Out of the 299 compliance checks conducted in West Virginia, 18 arrests were made by law enforcement.
Operation River Cities in Kentucky was made up of 56 federal, state and local law enforcement officers, making up a network of 14 arrest teams. The two-day operation covered Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence and Lewis counties in Kentucky, netting seven arrests.
A combined total 480 compliance checks were conducted during the organized sweep in West Virginia and Kentucky.
“The U.S. Marshals Service is thoroughly committed to tracking down fugitives who choose to thumb their nose at law enforcement or who think that the law does not apply to them,” said John D. Foster, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia.
“The goal of Operation River Cities is straightforward – to maintain strict registration compliance for convicted sex offenders,” said Loren Carl, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey and his staff, along with the U.S. Marshals Service for the Eastern District of Kentucky have stood together in support of this important effort. Operation River Cities is one of the surest ways that we can enforce the law and reduce threats to our communities.”
“The success of Operation River Cities illustrates tremendous teamwork among the federal, local, and state law enforcement agencies,” said West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers. “More significantly, the success of Operation River Cities will have a direct impact toward safety in our communities.”
West Virginia law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation River Cities: the West Virginia State Police, Huntington Police Department, Barboursville Police Department, Cabell County Sheriff’s Office, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Milton Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Beckley Police Department, and the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department.
Kentucky law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation River Cities: the Kentucky State Police, Boyd County Sheriff’s Office, Ashland Police Department, Greenup Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Elliott County Sheriff’s Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Vanceburg Police Department, Louisa City Police Department, South Shore Police Department, Worthington Police Department, Flatwoods Police Department, Grayson Police Department, Raceland Police Department, Russell Police Department, Kentucky State Probation and Parole Office and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248). SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.
Photo below provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia:
From left: U.S. Marshal John D. Foster, U.S. Marshal Loren Carl, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, and West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Jay Smithers today at the Sydney L. Christie Federal Building in Huntington, W.Va.