Officers spend the night looking for sex offenders
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sex offenders and parolees answered their doors not for trick-or-treaters but law enforcement. It's part of "Operation Boo", the 19th annual Halloween compliance enforcement conducted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Two sex offenders were arrested on drug charges. Investigators say operations have become more challenging under AB 109, the state's Criminal Justice Realignment. Generally, the Fresno County Jail won't accept those who have violated basic parole. The jail will only book parolee's in if there's a new felony crime. Law enforcement officials believe criminals are very much aware of the state law, which was signed by Governor Brown in 2011. The state's goal is to reduce inmate capacity by 2013.
Parole agents made contact with 30 different sex offenders across Fresno County. Jaime Torrez and Souvith Bosombath were arrested for drug possession. Investigators seized computer equipment, drugs and hundreds in cash from Bosombath's home.
One man told Action News that he had "nothing" to hide. He even offered to show the agent's inside his home. He told us, "I'm a model, a model prisoner, a model parolee, and I'm just doing my time and moving on with my life". Agents were looking for any sort of violation. On Halloween night, offenders are supposed to be home between 5pm and 5am, with their porch lights off. They're not to participate in any Halloween festivities.
Agent Thomas Adams told Action News, "This year, we do have issues with booking parolees in the Fresno county jail as a result of realignment and AB 109. It's kind of a challenge, finding violations and placing parolees into custody. He also says criminals are noticing. "Many of them are committing parole violations and prior times, they'd be arrested on the spot. They realize we're aware of them now and in many cases, we're unable to do anything".
As for Souvith Bosombath, he recently violated his parole. The parole board told him to serve 120 days. Due to jail overcrowding, he was back at home when agents knocked on Halloween night.
Adams added, "As a parole agent, it's frustrating to see that a lot of these guys aren't being held accountable for some of their actions, not having the ability to place them in custody all the time takes away from us being able to enforce the conditions of parole that are there to keep them out of trouble and keep the public safe".
Jeffrey Callison, Press Secretary for The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sent Action News the following statement: "There is no question that it has made great progress towards its principal goal of significantly reducing overcrowding in California prisons, as ordered by federal judges and the U.S. Supreme Court. Since realignment took effect, the California prison population has been reduced by about 24,000 because of the redirection of lower-level offenders to county jail or other local forms of supervision. The State of California is backing up the local implementation of realignment with hundreds of millions of dollars a year in support, along with hundreds of millions more to support jail construction".
crimetracker, sex crimes, fresno, fresno county, local, stephanie stone
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