The Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, MSU-Billings Police, the Billings Police Department, and the US Marshals Service today announced the result of a joint operation conducted last week to locate unregistered sexual or violent offenders in Yellowstone County.
Currently, there are 1,150 active registered sex and violent offenders within Yellowstone County. Two-hundred thirty-eight non-compliant sex and violent offenders had failed to return their address verification letters. The joint law enforcement operation, lead by Montana DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation, resulted in 95 offenders being located and brought into compliance; of them, 15 were sex offenders and 80 were violent offenders. One violent offender was arrested for failure to register, and another violent offender was arrested on felony warrants issued for him from another county in Montana.
Attorney General Tim Fox said, “This was the largest round up of noncompliant sexual or violent offenders in state history, and was possible thanks to the good work of our Division of Criminal Investigation team and the strong partnerships they have with local, state, and federal agencies. I initiated the round ups when I took office, and the Montana Department of Justice will continue to take the lead in similar sweeps across Montana to ensure our communities are safe.”
The Billings operation nearly doubled the number of similarly noncompliant offenders located during the last round up in October 2013. In that sweep, 52 noncompliant offenders were located in Great Falls.
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 sweeps in the state to bring offenders into compliance for failing to properly register and will seek criminal charges on offenders who fail to return address verification letters or other registration requirements.
Bryan Lockerby, administrator of the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice said, “I encourage our citizens to check the Montana Department of Justice Sexual or Violent Offender website. If individuals 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.”
Searching the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is free. To access the registry, visit: https://doj.mt.gov/svor