Stop sex offenders from reoffending. That was the goal of law enforcement agencies in Madera County and the city of Fresno as they conducted Operation Guardian Angel.
Parole agent Joe Basile explained, “We're going around doing parole searches, probation searches, sex offender registration verifications and making sure everyone is in compliance and we are arresting people who have local warrants.”
In ten days, officers, deputies and parole agents identified where 1,297 sex offenders live. They arrested 45 of those offenders and 55 warrants were cleared during the operation. Two people will be considered for federal prosecution.
“The truth of the matter is any of them can be violent and all of them are serious,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. He was one of several law enforcement officials who joined U.S. Marshals for a press conference, Thursday afternoon.
“The most important statistic I believe is the percentage of sex offenders that were out of compliance, which was only 5% in the city of Fresno because two years ago that number was up 15-20% and it's thanks to operations like Guardian Angel that has allowed us to achieve that.”
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson says he saw similar success. He explained, “What I think was strange out of this is within a couple of days after the operation was over, before we went to the DA's office to turn in warrants, we had about 5-10 people who wanted to turn themselves in because they knew we were looking for them.”
There are about 250 registered sex offenders in Madera County. Fresno County has more than 3,600 registered sex offenders.