Florence Man Pleads Guilty to Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Tayquan Thomas, age 23, of Florence, South Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Florence, to Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2250(a). United States District Judge Bryan Harwell, of Florence, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that in 2013 Thomas was convicted in Pitt County, North Carolina, of Indecent Liberties with Child, to which the conviction required him to register as a sex offender in any state where he resided, was employed, or was a student. Under the law, Thomas was required to inform authorities if he ever changed his address, and if he moved to another state, he was required to notify authorities of both the state he was leaving as well as the state to which he was moving. In September 2017, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office discovered that Thomas had left his previous address without informing them as required, and they issued a warrant for his arrest. The matter was referred to the United States Marshals Service which soon discovered that Thomas had moved to an address in Florence, South Carolina. On October 25, 2017, Thomas was located at the Florence address by a task force officer working with the U.S. Marshals Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force. When the officer attempted to arrest Thomas, he fled in a vehicle, then on foot, but was eventually apprehended after a tracking dog (K-9) was deployed.
Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty Thomas can receive is imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service with the assistance of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.