Officers and agents arrested 33 people including child rapists, parole fugitives and offenders living in homes with children present. The status of an additional 125 offenders has not been verified.
“Operation Reboot” started Aug. 3 and ended Aug. 14. The goal was to go door-to-door and utilize the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team to remove violent fugitive sex offenders from Utah communities and use investigative techniques to check on 1,000 of the 8,000 sex offenders who are required to register with the state, officials said.
The release said 20% of the sex offenders visited violated registration laws. Non-compliant offenders were identified in every county and city officers searched.
“A major priority of my office is to utilize our authority under the Adam Walsh Act to help protect those most vulnerable to sex offenders,” said U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah Matthew D. Harris. “There is nothing more important than protecting our children and our community from child sex predators. An operation of this size and complexity is no easy task, but if it saves just one child or potential victim from a sex offender who has gone unchecked, it’s worth every dime we put into the operation.”
The release said the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act designated the U.S. Marshals Service as the lead federal agency to investigate violations of federal sex offender registration laws and to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions.
Even though the operation is officially over, officers will check on hundreds of additional offenders over the coming weeks.
“Before COVID-19 kids had school resource officers, teachers, counselors and friends to lean on if abuse was occurring in the home. In our current times, some kids are being exposed to unsupervised sex offenders,” said Uintah County Sheriff Steve Labrum. “The purpose of the checks the U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement are conducting is to make sure sex offenders are living up to the requirements the court has mandated. The whole objective of the visits is to keep our children safe.”
Participating agencies include:
- Heber City Police Department
- Park City Police Department
- Provo Police Department
- Salt Lake City Police Department
- St. George Police Department
- Utah County Sheriff Office
- Uintah County Sheriff Office
- Vernal Police Department
- Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office