Operation Guardian, a three-year national initiative specifically targeting the country's most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders, ended Tuesday with the arrests of 345 people who failed to register with state authorities as required by law, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Deputy marshals worked with state and local officials to identify specific nonregistering fugitives based on their danger to the public and prior convictions for sex offenses. As of Tuesday, U.S. Marshals Service investigators located 427 offenders of 444 sought, including 82 found outside the U.S. Those detained represent more than 500 prior convictions for sexual offenses.
"Today's announcement sends a clear message: that the Justice Department and its allies are firmly committed to safeguarding our nation's young people from all forms of exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., "and are determined to bring noncompliant sex offenders to justice."
Director Stacia A. Hylton of the U.S. Marshals Service said the agency "will not tolerate noncompliant and violent sex offenders who evade the law adding that the "message we send to these individuals is there is nowhere you can hide.
"Operation Guardian enabled us to bring to bear the full weight of international, federal, state and local law enforcement resources and intelligence to locate the most egregious sex offenders — those who have victimized innocent children," he said.
John Ryan, chief executive officer, of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children applauded the "overwhelming success of Operation Guardian," which he said located hundreds of the country's most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimates more than 700,000 sex offenders reside in the U.S. and that more than 100,000 are classified as noncompliant or unregistered.
Among those arrested were:
⦁ Lee Roy Ramirez, one of "Wisconsin's Most Wanted," in Portland, Ore. Ramirez was wanted by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections since 2003 for probation violation on an original charge of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Ramirez is awaiting extradition back to Wisconsin.
⦁ James K. Jenkins in Garland, Texas. Jenkins was wanted in DeKalb County, Ga., for failure to register as a sex offender and for a probation violation based on a weapons offense. He raped a 15-year-old girl, was convicted of statutory rape and sentenced to three years in prison, seven years probation and required to register as a sex offender in Georgia.
⦁ David Sherant in Las Vegas. He was wanted by the Utah Department of Corrections for violating his term of supervision by failing to register as a sex offender. He was convicted in August 2000 of sexual exploitation of a minor. After release from the Utah State Prison, Sherant fled, and failed to register as a sex offender.
⦁ Darrell Craig Sinclair in Mexico. Sinclair was wanted by the Riverside County, Calif., Sheriff's Department for almost 10 years on a $500,000 arrest warrant for failure to register as a sex offender. He was convicted of one count of lewd acts against a child in Los Angeles County in 1976, and seven counts of lewd acts against a child in Orange County, Calif.
⦁ Michael Rybkin in New York City. Rybkin was wanted by the Hudson County, N.J., Sheriff's Department for a parole violation and by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a warrant of deportation. A native of Germany, he previously was banned from New York City Public Libraries and was observed masturbating in front of two young girls in October 2010 at a library, but eluded capture. He was arrested a month later at the Grand Central Branch of the New York City Public Library.
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