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Federal, state, local cops target sex offenders

By Fritz Mayer
June 15, 2011

Sex offenders in New York State and in most states are required to register with authorities wherever they live and whenever they move. But sometimes, they move without informing anyone, and that prevents law officials from knowing where they live.

In order to take a “pro-active” approach to dealing with the matter, nearly all of the law enforcement agencies in Sullivan County teamed up with the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the NYS police during the week of June 6 for Operation Northern Watch.

At a news conference at the courthouse in Monticello on June 13, Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell said that during the operation, officials knocked on 168 doors while in the process of verifying the addresses of sex offenders.

Farrell said 12 arrests were made and warrants are being issued both in Sullivan County and surrounding jurisdictions. One of those arrested was Michael McCabe of Liberty, who was charged with possession of child pornography.

Also a man named Michael Harris, who had been living in Livingston Manor, was arrested in New Haven, CT for crossing state lines without registering, which is a federal offence, as was Anthony Morris who was found in South Hackensack, NJ, but who was believed to have been staying in Jeffersonville.

The other arrests were related to being in violation of the laws regarding registration.

Farrell said of the address verifications, “These types of checks will continue without notice, to ensure the safety and security of the community.”

The U.S. Marshal’s Service initiated the operation. Nick Ricigliano, a sex offender coordinator for the service, said in 2006 Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act, which directs the service to assist local and state agencies with finding “noncompliant sex offenders” and, in this case, provided funding for overtime for some of the 40 officers and personnel involved.

He also said all of the enforcement agencies in the county stepped up to join the operation, adding, “We have reached out to other areas of the state that weren’t necessarily that interested in doing this operation.”

The service is also tasked with visiting disaster areas. Ricigliano also said in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged New Orleans in 2005, “there were thousands of sex offenders in the wind.”

The web address, www.nsopw.gov/, links to the national registry site, it is criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/ for the New York site, and www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us for Pennsylvania.