Smithfield, N.C. — Every registered sex offender in Johnston County got a visit from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office this week.
“We’re just verifying making sure everybody’s where they’re supposed to be,” Sheriff Steve Bizzell said. “My job as sheriff is to make sure the sex offenders are where they say they are.”
Local sheriffs’ offices across 44 counties in eastern North Carolina and the U.S. Marshals Service teamed up for the operation, called “Home for the Holidays.”
Sixteen teams of officers from Johnston County checked on 209 registered sex offenders.
“We’re going to do our job, and we’re going to ensure that the sex offenders that are required by law to register with the sheriff, that they have done theirs,” Bizzell said.
By law, registered sex offenders have three days to notify the sheriff if they move. Failure to register is the most common violation among sex offenders.
Joseph Ford had just woken up when officers knocked, but he was in compliance with the rules.
“It’s about as important as your life if you want to stay free,” he said.
Across the state, law enforcement officers checked on more than 6,000 people, U.S. Marshal Scott Parker said.
Bizzell said his officers would keep the heat on year-round.
“This is not just a fly-by-night thing,” he said. “We will continue to monitor where the sex offenders are living. The people deserve that.”
,Local sheriffs’ offices across 44 counties in eastern North Carolina and the U.S. Marshals Service teamed up to verify the addresses of thousands of registered sex offenders for the operation, called “Home for the Holidays.”
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