Authorities Check Up On Registered Sex Offenders In Muskogee Co.
By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
MUSKOGEE COUNTY -- U.S. Marshals, police and deputies recently did an early morning check of every one of Muskogee County's 216 registered sex offenders.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright was the only reporter invited along.
The sex offender roundup is a first of its kind in Oklahoma where federal and local officers work together to make sure rapists and pedophiles are living where they should, which can be critical to tracking future crimes.
The briefing began at 5:30 a.m. as Muskogee police officers, Muskogee County deputies and Marshals were divided into teams. Their mission: to track down every registered sex offender in the county. They hit their first house before daylight.
The goal is to make sure every sex offender is living where they claim and are following the law.
One sex offender also had an arrest warrant. Officers found him in a back room, surrounded by children's books, coloring on pages made for kids.
"Ronald Weekley has a warrant for violation of probation and failure to appear and is also a sex offender involving a 12-year-old minor," said Chad Hunt, U.S. Marshal.
As the sun comes up, the teams knock on more doors, although not everyone is eager to open up.
"We know that's your vehicle, you're not in trouble. We just want to ask you some questions," a U.S. Marshal said to a sex offender.
After 20 minutes there, the landlord lets them in. They find the sex offender fully dressed, lying across the bed, saying he couldn't get up, but minutes later, he walks to the living room.
The checks keep state and federal sex offender databases up to date. Plus, arrest warrants will be issued for anyone found to be breaking the law.
As one marshal put it, this work is for the most vulnerable of our communities, children, who can't vote or pay taxes, but who need to be protected from people who would prey on them.
"We want the community to feel safe," said Chad Hunt.
Sex offenders, especially those who hurt children and commit crimes over and over, are a hot button issue for lots of people.
The teams will ask the D.A. for warrants on 23 people who were not following the registration laws. This same type of operation will take place in Tulsa County this week.