When the Special Enforcement Officers set out in the pre-dawn hours of Halloween, they were looking to see if 66 of the L.A. County Probation Department’s highest risk child predators are in compliance with their court orders ranging from no child porn, computers, phones, to candy or costumes in their homes used to entice children on a day famous for temptation.
This morning, Deputy Probation Officers found much more.
Officers arrested 22-year old sex offender who was residing with his mother in Santa Clarita. The SEO team learned that the mother runs what appeared to be a child daycare service out of her home. A female tenant who also lived in the residence with her infant son and 9-year old daughter told SEO she had no idea the man was a convicted sex offender.
In a Pomona home, the SEO team entered to find the 32-year old sex offender living with a ten -year old girl, who was found in an adjacent bedroom with another adult male. The probationer was arrested for a probation violation and the other adult male was arrested on two unrelated, outstanding warrants. Another women in the house, believed to be the mother of the girl, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment. The child was taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services. The SEO team also confiscated a methamphetamine pipe and marijuana. The contraband was taken to the Pomona Police Department for processing.
“Operation Safe Halloween is about ensuring probationers are in compliance with the law, but at its core, the Operation is about protecting children and we were able to accomplish that mission today,” says Assistant Chief Margarita Perez.
Sixty Los Angeles County Special Enforcement Officers deployed from eight staging areas Countywide at Five A.M. with a pre-dawn strategy to check on child sex offenders at a time when offenders least expect to be visited by law enforcement.
In total, five sex offenders were arrested and taken into custody, five computers, 13 USB sticks and memory cards, three computer towers, marijuana and a methamphetamine pipe were confiscated. The Department of Children and Family Services has taken one 10-year old girl in to protective custody and is investigating the status of 2 other children involved in the home where a sex offender resided.
“Today is a perfect example of the value of going into the communities, into the homes of probationers to see who they are living with, what is their environment, and what is the real story of their compliance with the orders of the court,” says Special Enforcement Director, Eric Newby.
This is the third year LA County Probation has conducted Operation Safe Halloween.