22 sex offenders back behind bars

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

Police agencies across the region say they are taking a stand against sex offenders not obeying with the law.

Law enforcement officials in seven counties teamed up with US Marshals to check in on sex offenders and say they arrested nearly two dozen for several violations.

It is called Operation Big Sandy, seven counties and 19 agencies working together to make sure sex offenders are following the law.

Officers in Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Martin, Perry, and PIke counties conducted 276 residence checks for registered sex offenders and say 22 of those were breaking the law in some way.

"A lot of them are aware now that sex offenders have less rights than what they think they do," said Pike County Chief Deputy Melvin Sayers.

The reasons for the arrests vary from registration violations, to possession of firearms, out of state warrants, and violating the social media statute which says offenders cannot have Facebook accounts.

U.S. Marshals say this is something they are doing all across the country.

"Make sure that these people are doing what they're supposed to be doing and behaving," said U.S. Marshal Loren Carl.

They also issued warrants for two offenders who could not be found at their registered addresses. Police are now on the look out for 32-year-old Bryan Williams and 35-year-old Jason Wheeler.

Marshals say they will keep checking in with other offenders in the area.

"We're going to go to the rest, and we're going to come back and hit these and they never know when we're coming. I have a saying that it's not our job, it's our duty to help protect these children," said Carl.

Officials are still investigating five of the offenders.

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