Tracking sexual predators in Fresno County

November 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno County's Child Sexual Predator Program consists of two deputies who spend their days making sure the more than 600 registered sex offenders in the county are in compliance. The goal is to send those who aren't in compliance back to prison.

The two positions are funded by a federal grant that allows them to track down sex registrants on a full-time basis. "They have to provide information as to where they live, what their employment is, phone numbers for contact, and any work history they have. And it's our job to ensure they're actually giving correct and true information," said Detective Ed Mayo with the Child Sexual Predator Program.

Since the task force began in April, the two deputies have made 76 arrests for non-compliance, working closely with parole agents and the County's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Just last month, they arrested one man after federal authorities reported he may have been involved in downloading child pornography. While the suspect was initially taken into custody for non-compliance, he now faces federal charges after further investigation led to the discovery of pornographic images.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says prior to the grant, compliance checks were done by sex crimes investigators while they also juggled their other cases.

The creation of the task force also comes as state prison realignment has sent hundreds of inmates to the Fresno County Jail. In some cases, jail policy has made it difficult to keep some offenders incarcerated. Still, Sheriff Margaret Mims says her department remains committed to keeping sex offenders in jail. "We're having to deal with that. But we're not going to give up. When these guys violate their compliance, they go back to state prison. That's what we're making sure of -- that we try to file the charges that will make them go back to state prison," said Mims.


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