PIQUA — A week from Trick-or-Treat night, a number of Miami County residents received an early morning wake-up call from local law enforcement. Early Monday, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office held their annual verification round-up for all registered sex offenders living in the county to confirm that the offenders were in compliance.
“Every law enforcement agency in Miami County is here,” Chief Deputy Dave Duchak said during the briefing.
In addition to local law enforcement, Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority and the U.S. Marshall Service participated in the round-up. Everyone was split up into eight teams, knocking on doors shortly after 6 a.m. to make sure the county’s sex offenders were where they were supposed to be.
Deputy Chase Underwood of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Detective Miles Gearing of the Piqua Police Department, and representatives of the adult parole authority and the U.S. Marshall’s service were one of the teams in Piqua for the round-up, beginning on Riverside Drive a couple hours before sun-up. There, at a residence featuring both an American flag and a U.S. Marine Corps flag, the officers were checking up on a man convicted of rape, attempt, and sexual battery in 1999. According to Miami County’s sex offender database, he was released from prison in 2010.
Afterward, they headed over to a residence on Nicklin Avenue, where an occupant of the home said that the registered sex offender who was supposed to be there had moved a week ago.
The officers then went to a home on Park Avenue with wind chimes and small American flags standing motionless in the cold morning, confirming the address of a man convicted of rape in 2001 and released from prison in 2008. While at that address, a young child and his mother stepped outside while law enforcement checked with the registered offender.
At a home on West North Street, Underwood’s team checked on a man convicted of rape, attempt, and gross sexual imposition in 2000. Law enforcement was speaking with this offender at the same time a school bus rolled up to the intersection directly in front of the house, stopping to pick a couple kids up for school.
Next, Underwood, Gearing, the parole officer, and the U.S. Marshall went to West Greene Street, shining a light into the home of a tier III sex offender convicted of sexual abuse in 2008 and released from prison in 2009. The registered offender was not found in the residence, but a roommate signed off on confirming that he did live there.
They were unable to completely confirm the address of a tier I sex offender reportedly living on Virginia Street. The offender was convicted of importuning 2008, a crime involving soliciting a person less than 13 years old to engage in sexual activity.
On South Wayne Street, the team checked up on a man convicted of sexual battery in 2008.
Then on Broadway, they ran into an issue finding a residence that did not appear to exist until they found the offender’s true address a couple houses over from what was on record. Both addresses were in a quarter-mile radius of the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA. The offender was convicted of gross sexual imposition in 2000 and released from prison in 2002.
On Wood Street at home with a wreath on the door and small, lighted Christmas tree out front, an occupant of a home confirmed the address for a tier III sex offender convicted of rape and sexual battery in 2009.
Next, on Gordon Street, with a small child’s Huffy bicycle laying at the bottom of steps leading up to the home, an offender convicted of fourth-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a minor or corruption of a minor in 2006 confirmed his address. In 2008, he was also found guilty of third-degree felony compelling prostitution, for which he was labeled a tier II sex offender. He spent four years in prison.
Underwood’s team in Piqua checked on a total of 19 sex offenders. At each of the residences where the registered sex offender was able to confirm his or her address, Underwood and Gearing asked to come inside to come inside to take a look at where the offender was sleeping to corroborate that they were truly living there. During the briefing, the officers were also advised to take a look at the offenders’ possible social media accounts to make sure they were the accounts they had registered with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.
Overall, Miami County has a total of 162 registered sex offenders. The following preliminary numbers resulted from the combined agency sweep:
• Total addresses checked – 158 (one homeless, three offenders with active warrants)
• Total addresses verified – 110
• Door hangers left/rechecks needed as no one was home – 44
• Reports/investigations started for non-compliance – 4
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office thanked the following law enforcement agencies and the 25 officers who participated in the operation: Piqua Police Department, Troy Police Department, Covington Police Department, West Milton Police Department, Tipp City Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, United States Marshals Service, Miami County 911 Communication Center, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected]