U.S. marshalls join local law enforcement
in sex offender operation
By Ari Barak, Bay City News Service
January 5, 2007
A joint operation over the holidays by several Bay Area law
enforcement groups resulted in dozens of arrests for non-registering
sex offenders and fugitives sought for sex offenses, the U.S.
Marshals Service reported.
Operation Safe Holidays was conducted from Nov. 25 through Jan.
1 and involved officers from the U.S. Marshals Service Northern
California fugitive task force, the San Francisco Police Department,
the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, the San Francisco Sheriff's
Department and the San Francisco district attorney's office, according
to U.S. Marshal Federico Rocha.
The operation was designed to support the new federal Adam Walsh
Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, according to Rocha.
The law, signed by President Bush in July, is intended to strengthen
federal laws protecting children from sexual and other violent
crimes. In addition to creating a federal sex offender registry,
the act increases penalties against sex offenders and convicted
sex offenders who fail to register.
According to Rocha, the act also helps law enforcement agencies
locate and apprehend sex offenders who violate registration requirements.
The Bay Area operation, which also included police departments
from Redwood City, San Bruno, San Pablo, Sunnyvale and Milpitas,
netted 59 arrests of local, state and federal non compliant sex
offender registrants and fugitives wanted for sex offenses or
other violent crimes, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
In addition, 120 local and state sex offender registration compliance
checks were conducted under the operation, as well as the first
federal sex offender registrations in Northern California, the
U.S. Marshals Service reported.
According to Rocha, Operation Safe Holidays resulted in the "significant
arrest'' of David Koenck in San Francisco by U.S. marshals and
San Mateo County sheriff's deputies. Koenck had been wanted in
Iowa after fleeing to avoid prosecution for second-degree sexual
abuse of a minor and will now be extradited back to Iowa to face
the charges, Rocha said.
According to Rocha, the new law allows the U.S. Marshals Service
greater breadth to assist local and state law enforcement by making
failure to register as a sex offender a federal crime punishable
by up to 10 years in prison.
The U.S. Marshals Service will be the primary federal law enforcement
agency enforcing the Adam Walsh Act, Rocha said.
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