The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and the Great Falls Police Department today announced the result of a joint operation conducted last week to locate unregistered sexual or violent offenders in Cascade County.
According to Sexual or Violent Offender Registry records, there are 626 active registered sexual and violent offenders within Cascade County and, prior to last week’s operation, 60 noncompliant offenders had failed to return their address verification letters. During the two-day operation, law enforcement officers were able to locate and bring into compliance 40 unregistered offenders; five were sex offenders and 35 were violent offenders.
Agents also conducted compliance checks on three Tier 3 sex offenders who were found to be compliant. Five offenders were found to be non-compliant, and warrants for their arrest may possibly be requested through the Cascade County Attorney’s office.
Attorney General Tim Fox said, “This was the third concentrated compliance check of noncompliant sexual or violent offenders initiated since I took office last year. Thanks to the diligence of our Division of Criminal Investigation team and their strong partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, a total of 187 noncompliant sexual or violent offenders in Montana have been brought into compliance in the last nine months.”
This is the second operation in Cascade County to locate noncompliant offenders in recent months. In October 2013, agents located 52 noncompliant offenders. In March 2014, a total of 95 noncompliant offenders were located in Yellowstone County.
Bryan Lockerby, administrator of the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice said, “The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation Sexual or Violent Offender Compliance Program will continue partnerships with other local law enforcement agencies to conduct more sweeps in the state to bring offenders into compliance for failing to properly register.” Lockerby added, “We’ll seek criminal charges on offenders who fail to return address verification letters or other registration requirements.”
Montanans are encouraged to check the Montana Department of Justice Sexual or Violent Offender website at https://doj.mt.gov/svor. If citizens know of an offender who lives in their neighborhood and is listed as noncompliant, they should report that information to their local law enforcement agency. Access to Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is free.