The Marion County Sheriff's Department hit the streets this week for one of the largest registered sex offender checks in its history.
The department usually checks on a few of the county's 115 registered sex offenders every few months. Officers want to make sure the sex offenders are living where they're registered.
KHQA's Brooke Hasch rode along as deputies met with almost all of the county's registered sex offenders during a two-day investigation.
"Most of the ones we're checking in on, they've done more than a little picture on a phone. Some of them have had sexual contact with children ages 15 and down," Deputy Eric Jones said.
Jones teamed up with James Tapp with the U.S. Marshal's Office out of the Eastern District of Missouri, in St. Louis on Tuesday. With a file in hand, the two went door to door looking to place faces with names. They were one of four teams dispatched to separate locations around the county. The search that began in Hannibal and later extended throughout the county resulted in four arrests.
"We're basically checking on them to make sure what they're telling us is, in fact, true of where they're living, where they're working. It's basically just for the safety of our community as a whole," Sheriff Jimmy Shinn said.
When no one was home, the Hannibal duo checked on their place of employment. They even checked a local motel. Less than two hours into the check, the call came in.
"Just spoke with our sheriff. He said one of our sex offenders wasn't in compliance with the rules and regulations, so we're on our way over there to help," Jones said.
"One of our teams, they came to their third residence of the day, to a residence on Richmond Street, and came in contact with one of our sex offenders and searched the residence. We located a computer and found what we believe to be child pornography on the computer," Shinn said.
His name--64-year-old James Rader, of Hannibal. Charged with possession of child porn back in May of 2002.
"When you've already been convicted of a sex offense such as this person has, we will seize the computer and we'll apply for a search warrant to basically search the computer more in depth to see what we can find," Shinn said.
If convicted, Rader could face up to seven years in prison.
"Out of the nine searches we've done thus far today, only one has not been in compliance. So all in all, everybody seems to be following the rules and guidelines the state has set forth for them," Jones said.
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