CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Marshal’s Service along with the West Virginia State Police conducted a sexual offender compliance check this week in Kanawha County. They found 24 sex offenders out of compliance.
“I believe as long as they know they’re going to have to stay compliant it will keep them from doing other further bad acts,” stressed U.S. Marshal John Foster. “This isn’t a witch hunt. We’re glad they are compliant. We’re glad that we have such a low number. But for those out of compliance, we will enforce it.”
Foster along with U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Booth Goodwin and State Police Spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous announced the results of the compliance check during a news conference at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Charleston Friday morning.
The troopers and deputy marshals conducted 411 checks between Monday and Thursday. Out of those, 387 sex offenders were in compliance. Twenty four were not. Twenty warrants were issued. Seven of those sex offenders were not currently living at their registered address and could now be living out of state. Foster said that’s why these compliance checks take place in all 50 states.
“This is something that goes on across the whole nation,” he said. “What’s the point of cleaning your own state if you’re just going to run them out to another state?”
One of the sex offenders met marshals and troopers at the door of his home with a gun. Law enforcement quickly subdued the man. That’s a charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. Foster said by no means are the checks an easy task or a safe one.
“That’s why we get so passionate about this. We have to keep these people in compliance. They broke the law. The law requires them to be in compliance. That’s what we do. When I say ‘we’ I’m giving most of the credit to the State Troopers,” explained Foster.
The State Police budget does not include money to conduct sex offender compliance checks. That comes from the U.S. Marshal’s budget. Together the agencies are checking up on all the registered sex offenders in the southern district. Earlier this year they conducted compliance checks in Wood, Wyoming and Cabell counties.