Sexual and Violent Offenders Targeted in Multi-Agency Compliance Check Operation
With the goal of locating offenders who aren’t in compliance with Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registry, Montana law enforcement agencies conducted intensive compliance checks in Roosevelt County November 17 – 18. During the operation, a total of 71 sex offender address verifications were conducted; this was the first time a multi-agency compliance check has ever taken place in Roosevelt County.
Offender compliance checks were initiated by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox in 2013. To date, law enforcement agencies have also conducted operations in Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula, as well as in Beaverhead, Glacier, Lake, and Pondera Counties. “This operation is a good example of multiple law enforcement agencies pooling their resources to keep Montana families safe, including those living on our reservations,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “We look forward to announcing the results of more compliance checks with our local, state, and federal partners as well as offering the public up-to-date information on our Sexual or Violent Offender Registry.”
The United States Marshals Service, the United States Probation and Parole Office, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Peck Tribal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Team, and the Montana Department of Justice participated in the operation. Working together, they verified 53 sex offenders as compliant (residing at their registered address). Additionally:
• 5 offenders could not be contacted at their residence and residency was not verified. Those addresses where offenders could not be verified were left notices on their doors and the local registering agency is following up on the verifications.
• 2 offenders were found to be non-compliant and follow-up investigations will be conducted to determine if formal charges for failing to register will be filed.
• 11 sex offenders and 5 violent offenders were brought into proper compliance.
• 5 sex offenders had moved away and are properly registered in other jurisdictions.
• 4 sex offenders were located in the local jail.
• 3 sex offenders are suspected to be in federal custody and are being checked on.
• 3 offenders were arrested on Federal warrants and 1 was arrested on a Tribal warrant.
Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers said, “Our office was pleased to work with the U.S. Marshals Office, the Fort Peck Tribes SORNA Office, and the Division of Criminal Investigation staff from the Montana Department of Justice during the two-day operation. In Roosevelt County and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, It’s extremely important to the safety of the public that we ensure our sexual and violent offenders are living at the address they registered and are in compliance with any conditions they may have.”
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.