36 sex offenders? Really?

By Sandy . . . NARSOL has so often called for truth in headlines and articles dealing with persons registered as sexual offenders. We hope that not all of the ears on which our pleas fall are as deaf as OFFICER.com appears to be. Of course, we consider the source and recognize that anything called OFFICER.com will be a self-promoting publication trying hard to convince the public that two South Carolina law enforcement entities plus the U.S. Marshal’s Service were justified in spending over 200 man-hours to bring these miscreants down.

“ ‘Operation Spartanburg’ nets 36 sex offenders.” For those who read only the headlines, their mission of fooling the public is accomplished. For everyone else, this would be a joke were it not your tax dollars and mine that have been so flagrantly thrown away.

36 persons. Of that number, three are identified as “sex offenders,” which means they are on the sexual offense registry, and all three of their arrests were for failure to register, which could mean anything from being a day late to failing to record a new car or change of address to falsifying information to not registering at all.

Three were arrested on drug charges: two for possession and the third for intent to distribute; two for possession of stolen property; one for forgery; and one for domestic violence. One was arrested on a plethora of charges, among them attempted murder, and is quite possibly the only career criminal in the bunch and, with the exceptions of the man allegedly intending to distribute drugs close to a school and the alleged domestic violence abuser, the only serious threat to public safety.

23 were arrested for a variety of parole violations. None of those were identified as sexual offenders, and I somehow doubt that OFFICER.com would have passed up the opportunity to use that label if they possibly could.

If you are counting, the total arrested is 34, not 36. And in spite of the bait-click headline, only three appear to be persons on a sexual offense registry.

US Marshal Tom Griffin for the District of South Carolina, attempting to justify the involvement of the marshals in a situation so important that it had to be given a name, said, “Sex-offenders are given the opportunity to start over in society, but if they violate their court ordered requirements the US Marshals are ready to assist in locating these individuals and bring them back for court proceedings.”

His self-serving statement might ring truer if more than 3 of the 36 — make that 34 — arrested were classified as sex offenders.

Sandy Rozek

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Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.