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Colorado police conducting three-week sex offender sweep

Colorado law enforcement agencies are currently conducting a sex offender sweep to attempt to locate some of the state's "missing" offenders. The sweep is meant to enforce state registry laws and keep an up-to-date tab on those convicted of related offenses in the state.

Most people who have been convicted of a sex offense in Colorado comply with state and federal registration requirements, checking in with law enforcement to confirm their address when required. According to the Colorado Division of the U.S. Marshals Office, however, there are 886 offenders who have failed to register or who are not living at the addresses where they should be.

Operation Shepherd 2012 is a three week-long sweep to try to find and confirm the addresses of those offenders. 35 agencies across the state are taking part in the sweep this year. While states make their own laws about sex crimes and related enforcement, federal agencies are assisting Colorado agencies with the sweep.

In its first three days of the initiative, law enforcement officials checked more than 700 addresses and made 16 arrests. Offenders who fail to register or try to evade law enforcement officers and registry requirements may be subject to additional penalties.

A conviction for sexual assault, child pornography or other sex crime can come with serious consequences. In addition to cumbersome registration requirements, some offenders are limited in where they can live. A conviction can also affect a person's criminal record and employment prospects. Some crimes carry long prison terms.

If you or someone you care about have been accused of a crime, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. They can help you protect your rights in the criminal justice system and work for the best possible outcome in your case.

Source: Fox 2 Now, "Officials Search for Hundreds of Sex Offenders on the Run in Colorado," Nov. 13, 2012

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