Through October 28th, law enforcement agencies across Michigan will focus extensive investigative efforts on finding violators of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act (PA 295 of 1994). The effort, dubbed Operation Verify, is the states eighth annual statewide sex offender sweep.
This sweep follows the October quarterly verification period because that allows for a more accurate list of non-compliant offenders, according to Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP). This means any registered offender who wants to spare themselves a visit from a trooper should verify their address with law enforcement as soon as possible.
The Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act requires registered sex offenders to regularly report to their local law enforcement agency, sheriffs office, or nearest state police post to verify their address. Tier 1 offenders must verify their address annually, during the first 15 days of January. Tier 2 offenders must verify their address semi-annually, during the first 15 days of January and July. Tier 3 offenders must verify their address quarterly, during the first 15 days of January, April, July and October. Failure to do so carries a penalty of up to two years of incarceration.
All registered sex offenders must also report a change of name, address, employment, campus enrollment, internet identifiers and vehicle within three business days of any change. Failure to do so is four-year felony.
This statewide sweep comes on the heels of an effort over the past 12 months in which officers from 120 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducted residence checks of compliant offenders at the registered residences of nearly 22,000 offenders. This effort resulted in 252 arrests and 981 requests for arrest warrants for violations of the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act.
In addition to Operation Verify, the MSP participates in several local and regional sweeps each year. The department also maintains a list of the Most Wanted Sex Offenders at www.michigan.gov/absconders. Fourteen most wanted offenders were arrested in 2010, and so far this year, three most wanted offenders have been located or arrested.
As of September, there were 39,930 offenders on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry; 37,321 offenders were in compliance with the registry’s requirements.