SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 18, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Nearly a dozen Wasatch front agencies, along with U.S. Marshals, recently completed a massive statewide sex offender compliance and enforcement operation called “Operation Reboot.”
In what is believed to be the largest sex offender operation in state history, 11 agencies from the Wasatch Front, as far as east the Uintah Basin, and down to Washington County and St. George, participated in the two-week operation, according to a news release.
The purpose of the operation was two-fold: to utilize the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team to remove violent fugitive sex offenders from Utah communities and to have state agencies conduct statewide sex offender compliance checks, to ensure Utahns, who are convicted sex offenders and who are required by law to register as sex offenders have done so.
“Utilizing resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, Operation Reboot sought to locate fugitive sex offenders and persons in violation of the Adam Walsh Act,” the news release said. “Passed by Congress in 2006, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act designated the U.S. Marshals Service as the lead federal agency to investigate violations of federal sex offender registration laws and to assist state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions. In conjunction with the act’s intent, Operation Reboot placed the highest priority on those who have committed violent acts and crimes against children.”
Starting on Aug. 3, throughout Utah, officers from the 11 different agencies hit the streets to conduct sex offender compliance checks in their communities, the news release said. Compliance checks are used to ensure sex offenders are living at their address of record with the state and to confirm offenders who are required by law to register have done so. Compliance checks often require in-depth investigative efforts or may simply be conducted by going “door to door.” During the operation, officers sought to check the registration status of nearly 1,000 of the state’s, 8,000 registered sex offenders.
“Officers found that nearly 20 percent of the offenders checked were non-compliant, meaning they did not meet their registration requirements under Utah law,” the news release said. “Officers identified non-compliant sex offenders in every county and city that participated in the operation. Examples of those offenders who failed to register include offenders who committed rape against children, parole fugitives, and offenders living in homes with children present. Thirty-three offenders are being screened for prosecution or were arrested during the compliance operation.”
During the same period, officers from the USMS VFAST and local agencies served state and federal warrants on fugitives wanted for committing sexual offenses, many against children. As a part of the investigation, the USMS and local officers arrested eight fugitives wanted for sex crimes. Examples include:
- Scott Swift, 42, of Salt Lake City, who was wanted for a warrant related to an unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
- Alan Shepherd, 30, of West Jordan, for three counts of rape of a child.
- Adam Liu, 45, of Salt Lake City, for failure to register as sex offender after being charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
- Rudolfo Jesus Trevino, 32, of Salt Lake City, for a parole violation after being charged and convicted of three counts of rape of a child and two counts of forcible sexual abuse and ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
These cases will be referred to the United States Attorney’s Office or local prosecutors in these local communities.
The operation officially ended on Aug. 14, but officers plan several hundred more checks in the coming weeks.
“A major priority of my office is to utilize our authority under the Adam Walsh Act to help protect those most vulnerable to sex offenders,” said District of Utah US Marshal Matthew D. Harris. “There is nothing more important than protecting our children and our community from child sex predators. An operation of this size and complexity is no easy task, but if it saves just one child or potential victim from a sex offender who has gone unchecked, it’s worth every dime we put into the operation.”
Uintah County Sheriff Steve Labrum added: “Before COVID-19, kids had School Resource Officers, teachers, counselors, and friends to lean on if abuse was occurring in the home. In our current times some kids are being exposed to unsupervised sex offenders. The purpose of the checks the U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement are conducting is to make sure sex offenders are living up to the requirements the court has mandated. The whole objective of the visits is to keep our children safe.”
The agencies that participated are Heber City PD, Park City PD, Provo PD, Salt Lake City PD, St. George PD, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Uintah County Sheriff’s Office, Vernal PD, Wasatch County Sheriffs Office, Washington County Sheriffs Office and West Jordan PD.