VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – It can be tough for law enforcement to keep tabs on the thousands of registered sex offenders and predators in Central Florida.
- More than 70 sex offenders, predators arrested in Volusia
- Follows massive operation by Sheriff's Office
- Operation aimed at making sure convicted offenders follow the law
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office recently arrested more than 70 sex offenders and predators in a massive operation aimed at making sure convicted offenders are following the law.
The operation began back in May.
Of the hundreds of registered sex offenders and predators deputies caught up with, more than 70 of them weren't following the law.
"They know what they need to do and some of them are just out and out blatantly refusing to do it, so we're going to make them do it," Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.
Deputies arrested convicted sex predator Randy Doncaster after they found he had child porn on an electronic device. They say he also failed to register as a sex predator a few years ago.
"They are required to register by law," Chitwood said. "We need to know where they live, we need to know what kind of car are they’re operating and we need to know if they’re complying with the terms of their sanctions."
Chitwood says they’re not going to wait for complaints to investigate sex offenders. With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, they’re going to keep close tabs on each of them – and whether they’re obeying the law.
"If you’re out there and you’re producing child porn or you’re downloading or distributing it, we’re going to know and we’re coming to get you," Chitwood said. "The safety of our children is paramount."
And Chitwood says parents can also help – by keeping a close eye on who their children are communicating with.
"It’s important parents try their best to keep controls on that phone," he said.