Tyler, TX (FOX51) — Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) concluded Operation Guardian, a three-year, national initiativespecifically targeting the country’s most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders. Deputy Marshals and law enforcement partners arrested 345 individuals across the country who had failed to register with state authorities as required by law. Deputy Marshals worked with state and local officials to identify specific non-registering fugitives based on their danger to the public and prior convictions for sex offenses. As of today, USMS investigators have located 427 offenders of 444 sought (or 96 percent of those targeted), including 82 individuals found outside the United States. These individuals represent more than 500 prior convictions for sexual offenses.
“The protection of our children is one of the highest priorities of all of the investigative and enforcement missions of the U.S. Marshals Service. We strive in many ways to protect our communities but the location, apprehension, and prosecution of those predators who would endanger children is a calling that is embraced by all of our Deputy U.S. Marshals” said acting U.S. Marshal Steve Tiller. “I am extremely proud of the work that all of our Deputy Marshals, Task Force Officers, and Local Agencies continue to do to make a safer environment for our children.”
The USMS assigned 129 criminal investigators to conduct sex offender, non-registrant investigations on a full-time basis. Operation Guardian was a collaborative effort led by the Marshals Service in cooperation with Interpol, the Diplomatic Security Service, Customs and Border Protection, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.Among those arrested during Operation Guardian were:
• James K. Jenkins, on Oct. 9, 2012, in Garland, Texas. Jenkins was wanted in DeKalb County, Ga., for failure to register as a sex offender and for probation violation based on a weapons offense. His original offense occurred Dec.15, 1999, when he raped a 15-year-old girl. He was convicted of statutory rape and sentenced to three years in prison, seven years of probation, and required to register as a sex offender in the state of Georgia. Jenkins moved and did not notify the Probation Office or the Sheriff’s Office of his location. In October 2012, a Crimestoppers program received an online tip that placed Jenkins in Garland, Texas. Investigators conducted surveillance and arrested Jenkins with a loaded .38-caliber handgun in close proximity.
• Carl Floyd Grant, on Nov. 14, 2012. Grant was charged with Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registrations Requirements and a felony probation warrant out of Titus County, Texas. Grant made statements that he was willing to kill police officers to avoid apprehension. East Texas Deputy Marshals developed leads that Grant traveled to the states of Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and Washington, before finally being arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada by Deputy U.S. Marshals from East Texas.
The Behavioral Analysis Unit at the USMS National Sex Offender Targeting Center worked with the investigators to identify information related to the fugitives across a number of personal or social dimensions, including past sexual offending behavior. The prior convictions of the located offenders represent hundreds of victims and thousandsof known sexual assaults. Most of the sexual assault events were engaged against children, and many involved extreme violence.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates more than 700,000 sex offenders reside in the U.S. and that more than 100,000 are classified as noncompliant or unregistered. Since its inception in 2006, the USMS Sex Offender Information Branch has planned and executed more than 900 sex offender compliance and enforcement operations. During these operations, the USMS partnered with more than 4,800 state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct more than 150,000 compliance checks.
East Texas Deputy Marshals have assisted in sex offender compliance checks with law enforcement agencies in counties across the district to include Angelina, Cherokee, Collin, Denton, Grayson, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, San Augustine, Smith, Titus, and Tyler.