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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Sex Offenders Get Compliance Checks

Dec 06, 2023 03:01PM ● By Yolo County District Attorney’s Office News Release

A Yolo County CSI Officer conducts a search using a laptop computer. Photo courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney’s Office

WOODLAND, CA (MPG) - On November 14th and 15th, Yolo County law enforcement conducted compliance checks and address verifications on over 300 registered sex offenders. “Operation Vigilance” is a program that started 14 years ago with the goal to protect Yolo County community members by ensuring that those who must register as sex offenders who live in the County are complying with all laws and applicable parole or probation directives.

Over 80 law enforcement personnel from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Davis Police Department, Yolo County Probation Department, Woodland Parole Unit, California Department of Justice Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Team, Sutter County Probation, US courts Federal Probation, US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Woodland Police Department participated in this joint operation.

Many of the individuals who are required to register were previously convicted of rape, child molestation or possession of child pornography. Law enforcement personnel went to the residence on file of every registered sex offender with a physical address in Yolo County.

One unique aspect of “Operation Vigilance” is that while officers are making the home visits, forensic examiners search the computers, smart phones, and other digital storage devices for potential violations. Computer forensic investigators from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office High Technology Unit and examiners from other participating agencies worked together to conduct these specialized searches. Additionally, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation provided 11 K9 Officers with canines trained specifically to detect electronics to enhance these searches. During the operation, 80 electronic devices were searched, and an additional eight electronic items were seized for further forensic examination.

Approximately 94% of registered sex offenders within Yolo County were found to be in compliance with their sex offender registration requirements. Additional investigation by law enforcement will be conducted for those not in compliance. Three offenders on parole were arrested during this operation for parole violations and fresh charges which included Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Ammunition, and Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine.

Operation Vigilance followed the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and West Sacramento Police Department’s participation in Operation Trick or Treat, a collaboration of regional Law Enforcement Agencies that ran separate operations to combat sex trafficking. On October 24, 2023, a one-day operation was conducted in Yolo County which targeted sex purchasers in an effort to combat human trafficking in the area. The Yolo County operation resulted in the arrest of five individuals for solicitation of prostitution.

West Sacramento Police Department Chief Rob Strange commented; “Collaborative efforts among policing agencies are key to keeping our communities safe.  Despite struggles with staffing at so many policing agencies, our region remains steadfast in its focus on known offenders — especially those who have demonstrated predatory behaviors.”

District Attorney Jeff Reisig praised the efforts of all Yolo County law enforcement agencies who continuously monitor these individuals. “We conducted a compliance check of 100% of the sex offenders that have a permanent address, and the good news is that 94% were in compliance,” said Reisig. “Operation Vigilance continues to serve as an additional deterrent to those who must register as sex offenders who may be prone to re-offend.”

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