Several convicted sex offenders are now back behind bars, after a roundup led by U.S. Marshals in several central Kentucky counties.
Police throughout six counties checked up on nearly 200 registered sex offenders. Officials wound up arresting 15 for various violations, and they are searching for five more.
The U.S. Marshal's service and several local law enforcement agencies conducted the compliance checks--197 of them--on March 1 and 2.
"We're standing here together, to remove the non-compliant sex offenders, off of our streets, away from schools, and most importantly, away from our children," says Loren Carl, a U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Police, along with parole and probation officers, made 15 arrests. Charges included: violation of a domestic violence order, failure to comply, parole violations, probation violations and possession of drugs.
Police in Franklin County arrested Mark Anthony Lewis--one of the 15--and he's charged with felony possession of firearms for having 19 shotguns and rifles.
"He was arrested and there is also another investigation on him for being non-compliant," says Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.
The U.S. Marshal also noted a recent tragedy. Police in Colorado were checking up on a fugitive sex offender on Tuesday--the same type of operation Kentucky officials conducted--when an officer was shots and killed.
"It's our duty, but an officer got killed going on a compliance check, like what we did," Carl says.
While officials arrested 15 offenders in the six central Kentucky counties, they are still looking for five.
Four of the fugitives are: Travis J. Ballard of Bourbon County, Dewaine Scott Morgan of Franklin County, Edward Lee Gravley of Franklin County, and David Moses Pena of Anderson County.
Officials say if anyone in the community has seen these men, or has any information, they need to let law enforcement know.
The U.S. Marshal's Service says when checking up on sex offenders, on average ten percent are non compliant. That number is true nationwide.