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Sweep: Half of sex offenders obeying rules

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A nighttime sex-offender sweep that blanketed Gwinnett verified about half of the county's registered offenders are obeying restrictions imposed on them by judicial systems.

The Thursday initiative targeted each of the roughly 350 registered sex offenders in Gwinnett County, regardless of their criminal convictions. The checks were unannounced, and not everybody was home.

"Those who weren't located (Thursday) night can certainly expect to receive a follow-up visit," said Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly.

Authorities verified addresses and other information provided by 175 registered sex offenders. One unregistered sex offender was found and arrested, police said.

Along the way, police found 13 people afoul of the law and two stolen vehicles, officials said in a wrap-up Friday. Police obtained 20 arrest warrants total, including nine on felony charges, Kelly said.

The operation paid special attention to extended stay hotels in Gwinnett, comparing guest rosters with national sex-offender databases. More than 100 law enforcement officials participated.

The six-hour sweep -- the most comprehensive in recent memory -- was the brainchild of a Gwinnett police officer bent on ensuring that convicted sex offenders were living where they claimed to be, Kelly said.