Billings Area Sexual and Violent Offenders Targeted in Compliance Check Operation

Billings Area Sexual and Violent Offenders Targeted in Compliance Check Operation

BILLINGS – With the goal of locating offenders who aren’t in compliance with Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registry, Montana law enforcement agencies conducted an intensive compliance check in Billings from June 23 through June 26. During the operation:

• 233 offender address verifications were conducted.
• 17 known non-compliant offenders were brought into compliance.
• 24 people were found to be non-compliant (offender has failed to notify law enforcement of a change of address/not residing at registered address).
• 5 arrests were made (4 probation violation, 1 outstanding arrest warrant).
• 1 runaway / missing person found at an offender’s residence.

The Billings Police Department, the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, the Montana Department of Corrections, federal probation authorities, and the U.S. Marshals Service participated in the operation.

Offender compliance checks were initiated by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox in 2013. To date, law enforcement agencies have conducted operations in Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula.

“Once again, another successful compliance check has taken place thanks to the close collaboration and hard work of our local, state, and federal agencies,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “This latest operation in Billings is a great example of how law enforcement pools its resources to keep Montana families safe from sexual and violent offenders. We look forward to more multi-agency efforts that ensure offenders stay in compliance, and enable us to offer the public the most up-to-date information on our Sexual or Violent Offender Registry.”

US Marshal Darrell Bell said, “The USMS is proud to work side by side with local law enforcement to insure that sex and violent offenders are held in compliance. Our joint efforts ensure a better quality of life for our citizens‎.”

“Probation and parole officers work hard every day to ensure that offenders comply with the conditions of their release. But with more than 8,500 offenders under supervision in communities throughout Montana, that’s a huge task,” Department of Corrections Director Mike Batista said. “When criminal justice agencies combine their resources in a focused operation as we did in Billings, we can have a dramatic impact on public safety.”

Billings Police Department Chief Rich St. John said, “ Our ability to partner with other local, state, and federal agencies has made a significant difference in our enforcement efforts, especially in the area targeting sex offender compliance. This operation exemplifies the spirit of cooperation and collaboration at all levels. The results are tremendous and we are very proud to be a partner.”

Under Montana law, convicted sexual or violent offenders must register their address of residence with local law enforcement. The information is provided to the Montana Department of Justice and input into the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry (SVOR). Depending on their tier level designation, sex offenders must verify their addresses with law enforcement on a regular basis (by law, violent offenders are not given a tier level). When an offender fails to verify his/her address, he/she falls out of compliance with the registry.

• Tier III (the most dangerous) sex offenders must verify address every 90 days
• Tier II sex offenders must verify address every 180 days
• Tier I and non-designated sex offenders must verify address once per year

Montana’s SVOR, which tracks an average of 2,300 sexual offenders and 3,300 violent offenders at any given time, is viewable online at https://app.doj.mt.gov/apps/svow/default.aspx On-line visitors may also register for free email notifications that allow them to be automatically notified whenever a sexual or violent offender moves into a zip code of interest to subscribers.

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