A three-year federal investigation targeting sex offenders who were skipping out of their registration requirements has resulted in the arrests of 345 people including two from South Carolina.
Operation Guardian targeted “the country’s most dangerous noncompliant sex offenders,” according to a statement released on Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Marshals worked with state and local law enforcement to identify sex offenders who had not registered and fugitives identified as a danger to the public, officials said.
As of Tuesday, investigators had found 427 offenders out of 444 active fugitives, including 82 people found outside the United States.
“Today’s announcement sends a clear message: that the Justice Department and its allies are firmly committed to safeguarding our nation’s young people from all forms of exploitation and abuse. And we are determined to bring noncompliant sex offenders to justice,” Attorney General Eric Holder stated in the release.
In South Carolina, the U.S. Marshals Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force arrested Herman Dangerfield, 58, who was wanted by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office for failure to register as a sex offender.
Dangerfield was required to register after a September 1997 conviction for criminal sexual conduct in Dorchester County. Dangerfield registered when he moved to Berkeley County, according to a federal complaint. But Dangerfield failed to maintain his registry in Berkeley County and then left the state and started a new life in Florida and North Carolina, according to federal authorities.
He was arrested in Clay County, Fla. and was prosecuted in North Carolina for his violations, authorities said. A federal hearing is scheduled for May in Asheville, N.C.
Federal authorities also arrested Roger Medford, who was wanted by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office for failure to register as a sex offender for a 2010 military conviction involving the sodomy of a 13-year-old victim. Medford was required to register as a sex offender by the court upon his military conviction but he failed to do so and moved out of the state, authorities said. Medford began living in Tulsa, Okla., and did not register as a sex offender, officials said. Marshals arrested Medford in October 2010 and he was prosecuted in northern Oklahoma.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.