The U.S. Marshals Service, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and N.C. Department of Public Safety and Adult Correction announced Friday the successful conclusion of Operation Home For the Holidays? conducted this week in Johnston County.
Over the past 5 years, the US Marshal’s Service Eastern NC District has assisted the sheriff’s in all 44 counties they cover to check the status of sex offenders in their county. Johnston County was the 44th county where the operation was held. Sheriff’s from over 20 of the counties were present for a press conference Friday morning on the steps of the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield.
Beginning at 6:00am Tuesday, over 50 officers from various agencies set out to verify that all 209 registered sex offenders in Johnston County were in compliance with NC state law, including living at their registered address. During the operation, all 209 homes were visited. In addition to verifying the addresses, officers arrested 28 persons for a variety of offenses including murder, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm, possession of narcotics, robbery, and probation violation.
Sheriff Steve Bizzell said of the 209 registered sex offender addresses checked this week, 10 were found not to be in compliance. Seven of the 10 sex offenders have been arrested for failing to register their address, a condition of their probation.
One of the sex offenders was found living across the street from a Smithfield-area elementary school. Sheriff Bizzell said he was aware of the location of the sex offenders residence and so were school officials. Normally, sex offenders cannot live in close proximity to a school, but in this case the sex offender was living in a home when the school was built. The offender was not required to move, but if he does move, he will not be allowed to live near the school again.
One of the persons captured this was Daquawan Redmond. He was wanted in connection with a November 3rd, 2015 homicide in Philadelphia, PA where Redmond is alleged to have shot and killed the victim over $20. US Marshal’s in Philadelphia developed information this week Redmond was at an address on Steven’s Chapel Road near Smithfield and he was arrested Wednesday afternoon.
The operation was the first of its kind in Johnston County. With the conclusion of Home For the Holidays? the U.S. Marshals and their federal, state, and county partners conducted 6,340 compliance checks involving 5,601 registered sex offenders, made 295 arrests, and seized 39 firearms.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service has been tasked as the lead investigative agency to enforce the Adam Walsh Act, including assisting in the location and apprehension of non-compliant sex offenders, investigate violations of criminal provisions of the Act, and identify and locate sex offenders in the event of a major disaster.
Scott Parker, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of NC said, “U.S. Marshals and our local and state law enforcement partners will utilize all resources available to seek out individuals attempting to avoid prosecution and we will work tirelessly to ensure our communities are safe from sex offenders.” Parker said it also sends a message to victims of the sex offenders, “We’ve got your back.”