SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Most of the registered sex offenders in Wood and Wirt counties were found to be in compliance in a recent sweep conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshal Service and State Police. Details of the sweep were released during a Friday news conference at State Police headquarters in South Charleston.
U.S. Marshal for Southern West Virginia John Foster said 252 registered offenders were checked in recent days. He said 187 were found to be in compliance, 57 out of compliance while 8 were not found.
“They went to every one of their houses. They knocked on the door, went into their house and actually did an inspection,” he said.
The agencies began compliance sweeps in Dec. 2012 and since then four have been conducted in different different areas of southern West Virginia, a total of 1,250 compliance checks with 240 offenders in violation. In some cases, charges were filed.
“This is something that is needed because if you look across the nation bad things happen to people (because) those registered weren’t checked on,” Foster said.
The U.S. Marshal Service will begin searching for the 8 sexual offenders that apparently have left the area.
“It sounds like it would be an easy thing to do but you’ve ever had to look for someone who is running it’s an extremely hard thing. Tracking down fugitives is a hard thing. We consider them fugitives,” Foster said.
Foster, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and State Police Lt. Michael Baylous praised the working relationship between the agencies. They said it’s not like that in all states.