Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update: 277 Sex-Offenders Arrested in Special Sweep

California Parolee Apprehension Teams’ Operation Safe Playgrounds’ Arrestees are Serving an additional 5 Months on average for Parole Violations

Los Angeles — Three months after a specialized team of parole agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) arrested 407 parolees as part of a multi-agency sting last November titled Operation Safe Playground Enforcement Week, 277 sex offenders and gang members arrested during a special enforcement week are still behind bars.

The parole violators are serving an average of five additional months behind bars with added time in state prison that ranges from three months to a year.

“Sex offenders and gang member parolees need to understand that we are watching them closely,” said CDDR Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli. “My message to parolees is: if you prey on the innocent, or begin to fall into old and dangerous habits, our teams of GPS and apprehension agents will put you right back in prison.”

Some of the more serious offenses for which parolees are back in prison as a result of November’s “Operation Safe Playgrounds” include assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy, oral copulation or mayhem; assault with a deadly weapon; and grand theft.

Parole violations for which sex offender parolees were re-arrested include indecent exposure, annoying children, possession of child pornography, possession of children’s toys or clothing, being within 100 yards of a place where children gather, cell phone pictures of children, solicitation of prostitution and failing to register as a sex offender.

Gang-member parolees were re-arrested for offenses such as associating with other gang members, guns and knives possessions, access to ammunition, and having drugs or alcohol.

Parolees in both groups were also commonly re-arrested for offenses such as failure to wear their GPS monitor, absconding parole supervision, and curfew violations.

Others arrested in November who are no longer in custody, either served their time, or were continued on parole.

Operation Safe Playgrounds Special Enforcement Week was held Nov. 15-19, 2010.Agents with the Department’s California Parolee Apprehension Teams (CPAT) and agents specializing in GPS monitoring, led more than 140 partner agencies including the FBI, the US Marshals and local law enforcement agencies statewide in the week’s efforts.

The CPAT was created as part of parole reforms launched by CDCR in January 2009 to direct more intense focus on parolees who pose the most risk to public safety. CPAT agents receive extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms training.

For more information on California parole and reforms, visit CDCR’s homepage at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/.

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Contact: Luis Patino  (916) 445-4950