The U.S. Marshals’ Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office with its 2019 sex offender compliance operation Tuesday through Thursday. Dubbed “Operation Rising Sun," the operation was a county-wide compliance and enforcement initiative to ensure sex offenders were following the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry guidelines.
Throughout the operation, officers conducted 35 sex offender compliance checks. The checks resulted in four sex offenders arrested for violations of the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry and for outstanding warrants. In addition, four warrants were issued and remain outstanding, and two sex offenders are being reviewed for possible federal violations of the Sex Offender Registry.
Officers also found marijuana and firearms in two separate offenders’ homes.
"The main goal of Operation Rising Sun is to protect the citizens of Meigs County by locating unregistered sex offenders and verifying compliance of registered sex offenders. Local, state and federal agencies worked together for two days to ensure each sex offender in the area was compliant,” stated Meigs County Sheriff Jackie Melton.
“Sex offenders who come to our county need to know that they have to keep their registration up-to-date and follow the rules,” he added.
“Through operations like Operation Rising Sun, we work with our state and local partners to verify sex offenders are following the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry guidelines and identify those sexual predators who violate the sex offender registry requirements,” stated David G. Jolley, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
“In addition, we strengthen the ties between our communities and law enforcement by working closely together towards a common goal,” he added.
The following agencies were involved in Operation Rising Sun: the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, the Decatur Police Department, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Knoxville Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The U.S. Marshals Service has three key missions under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006: (1) to assist state, local, tribal and territorial authorities in the location and apprehension of noncompliant sex offenders; (2) to investigate violations of the criminal provisions of the Adam Walsh Act; and (3) to identify and locate displaced sex offenders resulting from a major disaster. Since January 2009, the Marshals have partnered with law enforcement personnel from more than 3,000 state and local agencies to coordinate and execute sex offender compliance/enforcement operations throughout the country.