17 Tipton County sex offenders arrested

By Jamel Major - bio | email

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Seventeen sex offenders in Tipton County were behind bars Monday after deputies carried out what they are calling Operation Compliant Offender.

The operation is one of the first of its kind in Tipton County.  It is being conducted in April to support National Child Abuse Prevention Month as an effort to create awareness and protect children in the community.

The three day operation landed the sex offenders in jail, all arrested for various offenses including possession of firearms, drugs and theft of property.

During the operation, deputies and marshals recovered 41 weapons, more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, 20 grams of marijuana and pornographic videos.

"It wasn't just to go and make sure somebody was at an address," said Chief Donna Turner with the Tipton County Sheriff's Office.  "It was to cover any type of violation.  If you're on the sex offender registry, you're a convicted felon."

Paul Melson, Deputy US Marshal, said none of the sex offenders were found in close proximity to children.

"The distance is 1,000 feet from a school, daycare or church," Melson said.  "These guys are our neighbors and they live right beside us."

Michael Orr with the United States Marshal Service said the operation also confirmed that 88 percent of Tipton County sex offenders were in compliance with current law and restrictions.

"We are here to enforce the Adam Walsh Act passed by Congress in 2006," Orr said, "to make sure all sexual offenders across the US are accounted for and that we know where they are at any given point in time."

Authorities said they plan to conduct similar compliance checks throughout the upcoming year.

All but two of the suspects had posted bond Monday.

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