News and Press Releases

Caldwell Man Sentenced for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

June 08, 2012

BOISE – Rojelio Garcia, also known as Jose Vela Garza, 56, of Caldwell, Idaho, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Boise for failing to register as a sex offender, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Garcia to 18 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. He pled guilty on March 28, 2012.

According to the plea agreement, Garcia pled guilty in 1988 to aggravated sexual assault in Salt Lake County, Utah, and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years to life on March 9, 1988. His sentence required him to register as a sex offender.

Garcia came to the attention of investigators in Idaho in late June 2011, when an investigator with the Idaho Sex Offender Watch program learned that in May 2011, Caldwell Police had arrested Garcia for several misdemeanors and he had bonded out of jail. After checking Garcia's registration status in Utah, the investigator contacted the Idaho Sex Offender Registry and determined that Garcia had not registered as a sex offender in Idaho, a violation of the federal Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA). The investigator was unable to locate Garcia because he had provided false identity and residence information to law enforcement at the time of his arrest in May.

A timeline of Garcia's recent activity was pieced together by a deputy U.S. marshal. According to court records, on April 5, 2008, Caldwell police arrested Garcia-who at the time was using the alias “Jose Vela Garza,” on a fugitive warrant from Utah. After being returned to Utah, Garcia's parole was revoked on May 25, 2008, and he was returned to prison. Garcia was released by Utah authorities on July 20, 2010, and since that time he had resided at several locations in Canyon County using an assumed name.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Idaho Sex Offender Watch Task Force.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which was passed by Congress in 2006, requires sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction where they reside, are employed or are students. Violations of SORNA can be prosecuted in federal court.