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Fifty-seven sex offenders in Wood and Wirt counties fail to register

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A three-day blitz by law enforcement personnel found 57 of the more than 252 registered sex offenders now living in Wirt and Wood counties not in compliance with sex offender registration requirements, including eight who absconded.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, U.S. Marshal John D. Foster and West Virginia State Police First Lieutenant Michael Baylous said the investigation will continue until the eight missing sex offenders are located.

The initiative, tagged Operation Black Diamond, targetted registered sex offenders to determine their compliance with Sex Offender Registration Act requirements. The checks were done May 13-15.

“We will continue to conduct these compliance sweeps, because the prosecution of sex offenders who violate federal registration requirements is one of my office’s top priorities,” Goodwin said. “And we will continue to bring to justice those offenders who are not in compliance.”

Operation Black Diamond was initiated by members of the West Virginia State Police, in cooperation with the U.S. Marshals Service CUFFED Division.

In December 2013, a similar blitz found 54 sex offenders out of compliance in Mercer, McDowell, Monroe, Summers and Wyoming counties. In August 2013 a blitz in Boone, Lincoln and Logan counties found 209 registered offenders, with 10 of them out of compliance. A blitz of nearly 300 offenders living in Cabell, Mingo and Wayne counties netted the arrest of 18 offenders found to be out of compliance.

More than 1,250 sex offender compliance checks have been conducted as a result of the four regional operations.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.