Three registered sex offenders arrested Halloween night in Merced

11/01/2013 9:39 PM

11/02/2013 12:48 AM

Three registered sex offenders were arrested Halloween night in Merced on a variety of parole violations.

State parole agents targeted 24 homes of convicted sex offenders in Merced County as part of an effort to protect children on Halloween night, said Sylvia Rodriguez, the parole unit supervisor in Merced County.

The statewide compliance sweep, dubbed “Operation Boo,” examines offenders’ homes to make sure those people stay away from trick-or-treaters.

The operation has been conducted each Halloween in California since 1994, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The names of the three people arrested were not released.

Rodriguez said one man was jailed after agents found what they suspected to be a methamphetamine pipe, in addition to evidence of adult pornography on his phone, which was a violation of his parole.

Another man was arrested for visiting adult pornography websites on his phone, and a third man was jailed for possessing children’s cartoon films, both of which are violations of a sex offender’s parole, Rodriguez said.

“He’s not allowed to have anything that is made for children, like children’s movies; it’s not allowed,” Rodriguez said.

Special restrictions are imposed on registered sex offenders on Halloween night. Those conditions prohibit offenders from possessing Halloween decorations or passing out candy.

The outside lights at their homes must be turned off to discourage children from approaching, authorities said.

A special curfew is imposed on all registered offenders, requiring them to stay indoors from 5p.m. on Halloween until 5a.m. the next day, according to the Department of Corrections.

Because a significant number of registered sex offenders are homeless, special reporting centers are opened on Halloween night, and offenders who fail to report on time can be arrested, authorities said.

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