TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) --Just in time for Halloween, Tulare County authorities came together to keep registered sex offenders in check, in what was called Operation Baby Face Phase Three. In August, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office brought down a human trafficking ring that included 23 underage victims.
The same month, an undercover deputy posed as a 16-year-old girl and lured seven men to a home to allegedly have sex. But deputies were there waiting, and some of it was caught on camera.
"We want to make sure that we're doing everything we can at every level that we can, to either deter, dismantle, or interfere with that kind of activity," Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said.
Now, two months later, Boudreaux is sending a strong message to convicted sex offenders through Operation Baby Face Phase Three. Sunday, officers hit more than 100 homes throughout the county.
They checked to make sure offenders are in compliance with their sex offender registration, and that they don't have any decorations designed to lure children to their doors on Halloween.
"These types of predators operate in so many different aspects and age groups and any way that they can in an effort to be a predator," Boudreaux said. For those that we have already identified as convicted sexual predators, it's just one more step on our part to assure that safety."
Officers found 15 offenders to be out of compliance. Some weren't home, others had listed incorrect addresses. Three people were also arrested, including one 73-year-old man who had a felony warrant for not registering as a sex offender.
The Sheriff says there will be two more phases of Operation Baby Face. He's also put out some Halloween safety tips
1) Wear light-colored costumes and clothing.
2) Stay visible by applying reflective tape on costumes so they can be seen by drivers.
3) Bring a flashlight. Keep your child's path lit at all times.
4) Wear well-fitting costumes, masks and shoes to prevent trips and falls.
5) Know where your children are at all times.
6) Inspect their candy. Avoid candy that's been opened or is not in its original wrapper.
7) Plan a route in advance for trick or treating.
8) Use flexible props made of rubber or plastic.
9) Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
Remember, we are here for you. If you see anything suspicious or witness any crimes, contact the Sheriff's Office at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously through our TipNow Program at (559) 725-4194 or email@example.com.