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Agencies work together to locate noncompliant sex offenders

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- In a coordinated, countywide sweep, more than 100 law enforcement officers went knocking on doors Thursday evening looking for noncompliant sex offenders.

The operation was a multijurisdictional effort that included officers from the Gwinnett County, Norcross, Duluth, Lawrenceville and Lilburn police departments, Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies, and Probation and Parole agents.

Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly said police officials approached the sheriff's department about conducting the joint operation, and the two agencies have spent several months coordinating the effort.

He said this is the first time a sweep like this has been undertaken as an "all-out initiative."

"It shows the commitment the police department and sheriff's office have to keeping our community safe," Kelly said, making sure sexual offenders required, by law, to register adhere to the rules imposed upon them by the courts.

A mobile command post was set up on Indian Trail Lilburn Road and, after roll call and a briefing, officers were divided into teams and hit the streets.

At a Duluth extended stay hotel, deputies used a guest roster to search a national database for sex offenders who may be staying there.

A few miles away, in Norcross, Deputies Tracey Laurie and Mike Brock, among others, visited the addresses listed by registered sex offenders. Their mission was to make sure the offenders were in fact living there and that no criminal activity was going on.

At one residence, the elderly offender, convicted in 1989 in Tennessee for using a minor for an obscene purpose, wasn't home. The homeowner, the man's sister, walked Laurie and Brock to her brother's barren and bedraggled bedroom, telling them that he sometimes spent the night away with another sibling.

"They told us it was OK for him to do that," she said.

Exact statistics were unavailable at press time, but Kelly said several arrests were made on a variety of charges, including one apparent crack cocaine operation.

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