Friday, September 14, 2012


Helicopter gunship, sniffer dogs and 100 officers raid motels inhabited by sex offenders in one of only a few LA neighborhoods not within 2,000 feet of any school, park or other place where children might congregate

Although this raid was reported August 29 by the Los Angeles Daily News, it was only now covered on PACOVILLA Corrections blog. Jeff Doyle calls the raid Operation Overkill and says: “The sheer number of law enforcement officers involved and the “gunship” purportedly employed sounds like they were rolling out to raid the Vagos [outlaw motorcycle gang] or Zeta’s [Mexican drug cartel], not a bunch of child molesters. To say this was overkill is an understatement.”

It looks to me like this was nothing more than an extravagant publicity stunt that did little, if anything, to protect the public from sexual predators. Those 14 busts were made to give this colossal idiocy the appearance of being justified. They sure didn’t need 100 officers and an attack helicopter to find the porno and drugs.

Those parole violations should have been discovered by parole agents during their regular field visits, that is if they still make field visits. And if every California parolee who kept pornography on hand were to be busted, you wouldn’t need more than a handful of parole agents – there would be hardly any parolees left and Gov. Moonbeam’s realignment would be gone with the wind.

The officers employed in this raid could have found better things to do like going after burglars, robbers, gangbangers, dope dealers and parole absconders. And then I wonder how many of the participating officers keep a stash of pornography in their homes?

By Christina Villacorte

Los Angeles Daily News
August 29, 2012

With a helicopter gunship overhead and drug-sniffing dogs on the ground, about 100 law enforcement officers swarmed a Wilmington neighborhood late Tuesday and arrested 14 registered sex offenders for various parole violations.

Joe Martinez, a parole administrator with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said a search of the sex offenders' motel rooms and apartments turned up pornography, cocaine, marijuana and an unauthorized knife.

"What'll happen is that the sex offenders will be placed in custody, and on a parole hold," he said. "So even if they had a million dollars, they cannot bail out of jail for a while."

Dubbed Operation Safe Haven, the parole sweep involved more than a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement agencies banding together to check on 60 sex offenders clustered within three blocks near the twin Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

About 40 of the sex offenders gave their address as Harbor Inn, a motel on 716 Flint Ave.

"Prior to 2006, you didn't have this clustering of sex offenders," Martinez said. "When Jessica's Law was passed, it prohibited any sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of any K-12 school or park, and there's not a lot of areas that comply with those law requirements."

Around 11 p.m. Tuesday, teams of parole agents, probation officers, federal marshals, police officers, immigration officers, social workers from the county Department of Children and Family Services, and several K-9 teams entered the sex offenders' motel rooms and apartments.

They rousted the occupants, some of whom had been asleep, tied their wrists with plastic zip ties, frisked them, escorted them outside, and then searched through their things.

"Zero tolerance," a parole agent told one of the teams searching for banned items at the motel.

DCFS's multi-agency response team was summoned after boys, ages 3 and 4, were found living in one of the apartments with their mother and her boyfriend, who was convicted decades ago of attempting to rape an adult woman.

The social workers found no signs the children were being mistreated and decided to let them continue living in the apartment with their mother while an investigation is ongoing. The boyfriend was found in possession of pornography and taken into custody.

Operation Safe Haven comes several weeks after residents held a town hall meeting to express concern over the high concentration of sex offenders in their midst, and rising crime.

According to the California Megan's Law website, there are 179 sex offenders in the Wilmington ZIP code.

Martinez said the community became alarmed after a man exposed himself to two girls walking to school in July. The man remains at large.

Aside from the CDCR, other agencies that participated in the raid were the US Marshalls Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Bureau of Immigration and Customs; SWAT teams from the state prisons in Lancaster and Chino; and police, parole and probation officers from different cities in Los Angeles County.

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