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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sex Offender Who Failed To Register Given 10 Years In Jail

OXFORD, Miss. B Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, announced that:

John Graham Roberts, 50, of Hardy, Arkansas and Water Valley, Mississippi, was sentenced for failing to register under the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, on Tuesday, November 17, 2016, by United States District Judge Michael P. Mills, in Oxford, Mississippi.  Judge Mills ordered Roberts to serve the maximum term of 120 months in prison.  Roberts was also sentenced to serve a lifetime term of supervised release.

Roberts plead guilty on July 21, 2016, to a one-count Indictment charging him with a violation of Title 18, Section 2250, for knowingly failing to register as a sex offender and keep his registration as a sex offender updated as required by law Mississippi and Arkansas.

The United States Marshal Service (USMS) arrested Roberts on May 4, 2016, after receiving a tip that he was living in Mississippi and had not registered as a sex offender.  The USMS investigation revealed that Roberts had lived in at least two different judicial districts without registering.  Roberts was originally convicted in 1994 in Sharp County, Arkansas, for rape and sexual abuse in the 1st degree of 6 boys.  Subsequently, in 2005, Roberts was convicted of failure to register as a sex offender in Desoto County, Mississippi.

United States Attorney Felicia C. Adams stated:  “The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act requires that sex offenders who move must register.  It establishes a means for law enforcement to know the whereabouts of known sex offenders and is a means for the public to determine if a sex offender is living nearby.  When an offender knowingly ignores the registration requirements, they violate the law.  Such blatant disregard of the law which provides for the safety and protection of our children and neighborhoods must not be tolerated.  The U.S. Marshals Service is to be commended for their diligent investigation and the arrest of Roberts.”

Unregistered sex offenders became federal fugitives, and they are a priority for our Deputy U.S. Marshals,” said Dennis Erby, the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi.  “We worked closely with the Deputy United States Marshals from the Eastern District of Arkansas, with assistance from the Arkansas State Police on this case and will continue to work with all of our state and local partners to arrest those sex offenders who lurk in our neighborhoods, and threaten the safety of our children and communities,” added Erby.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), enacted on July 27, 2006, requires a sex offender to register, and keep the registration current, in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, works and goes to school.  SORNA is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which creates a comprehensive national system and requirements for sex offender registration, and criminal penalties for those who knowingly fail to register or update registration.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshal's Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Clay Joyner and J. Wesley Webb.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 17, 2016