Sex offender check yields four arrests
A multi-agency operation this week to check on sex offenders living in four area counties led to the arrest of four men and the seizing of three weapons.
The U.S. Marshals Service, along with the Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington county sheriff’s offices, the Plymouth Police Department and state probation officers conducted “Operation Pharos” on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officers checked on 95 sex offenders living in the four counties to confirm they were staying at the addresses registered with the local sheriff’s departments, as required by a 2007 federal law.
Gregory Todd Richardson, 49, of Duck, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.
A second arrest of a sex offender not living at his registered address was pending Thursday, according to Scott J. Parker, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“The message that was sent out by the United States Marshals Service and the other agencies involved is that working collaboratively, we will utilize all resources available to seek out individuals attempting to avoid prosecution and we will work tirelessly to ensure that the community and the children of the community are safe from sex offenders,” said Parker.
Three other men were arrested on charges ranging from a felon possessing a firearm to failure to pay child support.
No handguns were seized during the operation, but two shotguns and a rifle were found during the search.
“One of the most important tasks assigned to the Sheriff is the registration and monitoring of convicted sex offenders,” said Dare County Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie. “In Dare County, we take this task seriously.”
“We have an investigator that monitors the registered sex offenders on a daily basis, making sure that we have accurate records of their places of residence, and other things required by statute. We periodically conduct surprise visits and compliance checks,” Doughtie added.
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