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Agencies check up on sex offenders

There are 105 registered sex offenders living in Lawrence County.

Last week Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Marshals, Ohio Adult Parole Authority representatives and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) fanned out across the county to determine if those sex offenders are where they are supposed to be and if they are otherwise complying with sex offender laws.

The effort, known as Neighborhood Watch Eastern Borders, found 10 sex offenders who were not in compliance and are facing charges for parole violations, drug trafficking and firearms violations. Six other people were arrested on other criminal charges.

Robert E. Hoke, 38 , of Rome was arrested for failure to change address and the rape of a nine-year-old.

Calvin Sexton, 50, of Sheridan was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender.

The sheriff’s office conducts regular checks on sex offenders, but Neighborhood Watch Eastern Borders gave local officials more manpower to do more work in less time— and the marshals came free of charge. Lawrence County won’t have to pay for the assistance.

“The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office is committed to ensuring that the registered sex offenders in the county remain in compliance with the laws of this state and the rules set forth by the courts,” Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “I am pleased that my office could work with the U.S. Marshals to help make the citizens of Lawrence County safer. The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do regular checks on all registered sex offenders.”

Interim U.S. Marshal Cathy Jones agreed.

“The collaborative efforts of all of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved in this operation sends a clear message that we stand together to protect our communities. For those sex offenders who are not registered and are on the run or in hiding, we are determined to locate you and will not stop until we do so. We have clearly shown that in the arrests of Robert Hoke and Calvin Sexton. We also want to emphasize we appreciate the cooperation of all the citizens we encountered who provided tips throughout the week.”

To learn more about sex offenders living in Lawrence County, those interested may visit the sheriff’s office website at http://www.lawcoso.com and click on the sex offenders tab.