Task force goes after sex offenders; absconders targeted

The U.S. Marshals are known for getting their man.

Through sophisticated techniques, networking with law enforcement agencies nationwide and old-fashioned gumshoe work, the U.S. Marshals’ Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force has closed out more than 10,000 criminal warrants since its formation in 2003.

Now the marshals are teaming up with Georgia prison officials to try to locate the more than 400 registered sex offenders who have absconded from their last known addresses.

This week, the Georgia Department of Corrections announced its new partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service, paid for through a $500,000 Department of Justice grant. The money will be used to hire five officers and one intelligence analyst and pay for equipment and vehicles, said Dick Mecum, the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia, who helped secure the grant for the corrections department.

“Sexual predators now have no place to run, no place to hide that we won’t be able to reach out and touch them,” Mecum said.

Under Georgia law, a person who is required to register as a sex offender must keep local law enforcement updated on his or her home address and work place at all times. Failure to notify law enforcement of a change of address within 72 hours will result in classification as an absconder.

Of Georgia’s 400-plus absconders, 15 last lived in Hall County, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Among them is 32-year-old Christopher Carruthers. According to state corrections records, Carruthers served three years for a 1999 child molestation conviction in White County and another four years for failure to register as a sex offender. He was released from prison in 2005 and absconded two years later.

Mecum said many absconders move on to other states. He said with the new task force, “now we’re going to have a much greater ability to go nationwide to find these individuals.”

In the past, the Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force concentrated on finding violent felons, with eight deputy marshals assisted by a complement of officers from more than 20 local law enforcement agencies in Georgia.

The new Sex Offender Apprehension Team will have offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Macon, Mecum said.

“We can really start putting the focus on child abusers, molesters, sexual predators,” Mecum said. “Those are the individuals I want to go after — everyone does.”

source: http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/27568/


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Georgia legislators are not concerned with protecting the public or else they wouldn’t pass laws that creates shamming, homelessness, run them out of jobs and basically set them up for failure. Then turn around and arrest them./ This is insanity at it’s highest.

  2. My name is Keith Smith. I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet suburbs of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

    I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving. He was arrested and indicted but never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. 34 years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.

    In the time between the night of my assault and the night he was murdered, I lived in fear. I was afraid he was still around town. Afraid he was looking for me. Afraid he would track me down and kill me. The fear didn’t go away when he was murdered. Although he was no longer a threat, the simple life and innocence of a 14-year-old boy was gone forever. Carefree childhood thoughts replaced with the unrelenting realization that my world wasn’t a safe place. My peace shattered by a horrific criminal act of sexual violence.

    Over the past 34 years, I’ve been haunted by horrible, recurring memories of what he did to me. He visits me in my sleep. There have been dreams–nightmares actually–dozens of them, sweat inducing, yelling-in-my-sleep nightmares filled with images and emotions as real as they were when it actually happened. It doesn’t get easier over time. Long dead, he still visits me, silently sneaking up from out of nowhere when I least expect it. From the grave, he sits by my side on the couch every time the evening news reports a child abduction or sex crime. I don’t watch America’s Most Wanted or Law and Order SVU, because the stories are a catalyst, triggering long suppressed emotions, feelings, memories, fear and horror. Real life horror stories rip painful suppressed memories out from where they hide, from that recessed place in my brain that stores dark, dangerous, horrible memories. It happened when William Bonin confessed to abducting, raping and murdering 14 boys in California; when Jesse Timmendequas raped and murdered Megan Kanka in New Jersey; when Ben Ownby, missing for four days, and Shawn Hornbeck, missing for four years, were recovered in Missouri.

    Despite what happened that night and the constant reminders that continue to haunt me years later, I wouldn’t change what happened. The animal that attacked me was a serial predator, a violent pedophile trolling my neighborhood in Lincoln, Rhode Island looking for young boys. He beat me, raped me, and I stayed alive. I lived to see him arrested, indicted and murdered. It might not have turned out this way if he had grabbed one of my friends or another kid from my neighborhood. Perhaps he’d still be alive. Perhaps there would be dozens of more victims and perhaps he would have progressed to the point of silencing his victims by murdering them.

    Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my long-time friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.

    My novel, Men in My Town, was inspired by these actual events. Men in My Town is available now at http://www.Amazon.com

    For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace and hope.

    For additional information, please visit the Men in My Town blog at http://www.meninmytown.wordpress.com

  3. Thank you for sharing your story Keith. Awareness is key!

  4. salve .nice site. trading .

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