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A sex-offender compliance sweep last week that involved 168 offenders from five counties culminated in several arrests and warrants, including a woman from Henry County who is a fugitive and thought to be hiding out in Shelby County.
Kentucky State Police Detective Ben Wolcott, who covers sex abuse cases in Shelby County, said that police across the state are on the lookout for Jamie Nash.
“She could be arrested by any officer across the commonwealth,” he said.
Shelbyville Police Maj. Istvan Kovacs, who, along with Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gene Witt, represented Shelby County at a press conference in Henry County Tuesday to release the results of Operation Rolling Thunder in Shelby, Trimble, Henry, Gallatin and Carroll counties.
“We all worked together on the operation to make the community safer for children,” he said. “Police, sheriff’s office, KSP and U.S. Marshals; it was a team effort.”
The U.S. Marshal’s Service from the eastern district of Kentucky coordinated the sweep by supplying state, federal and local law enforcement with 168 sex offender dossiers for the five counties.
There are 67 registered sex offenders in Shelby County, according to the Kentucky State Police registry.
Nash, 37, also known as Jamie Burgess, is a sex offender in the lifetime registration category. She was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, involved children ages 11 and 13.
She is described as Caucasian, with brown hair, hazel eyes and weighing 165 pounds.
Anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts can call the Kentucky Sex Offender Hotline at 866-564-5652.
In Shelby County, police conducted 60 residence checks on registered sex offenders. The youngest child to be sexually abused in Shelby County was under 5 years old.
Region wide, two persons were arrested for outstanding warrants related to previous registry violations, one offender was noncompliant and a fourth was a fugitive from Indiana. Three offenders were cited for violating statutes against use of social networking cites, as they had Facebook accounts.
A report from the sweep said that five registered sex offenders are under investigation for noncompliance, and the U.S. Marshals Service expected those to be charged with failure to comply with registry requirements.
Shelby County law enforcement also participated in the operation, including Shelbyville Police, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Simpsonville Police.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Calvin Whitis, sex offender investigations coordinator and part of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, addressed a room of more than 30 law enforcement officers with instructions about the sweep before it began.
“We are here to assist you as a federal agency,” Whitis said. “We don’t have the authority to do it on our own but the Adam Walsh Act signed in 2006 gives us the authority to assist you – our state and local enforcement agents.”
Whitis said Operation Rolling Thunder was the 10th operation in the U.S. Marshals Service’s eastern district spanning 2,048 sex offender compliance checks. The U.S. Marshals Service recently helped Jefferson County law enforcement check 1,100 sex offenders.
“I have broken you down into thirteen teams with three to four officers on a team,” Whitis told the group when they dispersed. “Sixty percent of the victims in our past cases were thirteen and under. Many of the victims lead deep, dark and depressing lives.”
In addition to law enforcement agents from each county, task force officers from the FBI were there to specifically scan computers for pornography and social media accounts.
“They can’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts,” U.S. Marshal Loren “Squirrel” Carl said. “We can’t do this on our own and it takes cooperation with each agency. With Sheriff Cravens’ facility it really gave us the place to pull off an operation this size.”
Henry County base
The U.S. Marshals Service used Henry County Sheriff’s office as a command center for the operation. Law enforcement officers reported back the results of the sweep Tuesday and Wednesday to the command center. Carl said the location helped make the operation a success.
“This facility was geographically a middle split between all the areas,” Carl said. “We could keep any prisoners we had separated from the public, officers could relay communications and there were separate entrances. I travel the whole state and this is a great asset for Cravens and a benefit to us. We hope to come back.”
Carl addressed more than 30 officers at the sheriff’s office with caution.
“First of all, I want to thank each of you for coming out. We cannot do this alone. It takes all of us working together to protect these children and the family environment they live in,” Carl said. “We had a U.S. Deputy Marshal that was killed during one of these checks in St. Louis. We must be careful. Remember in California the woman [Jaycee Dugard] who was kidnapped and had two babies while being held a captive. If you feel you need to go a little further [with the compliance check], then go a little further.”
Whitis emphasized the need for officers to make a probable cause arrest if need be.
“We had an offender who was living with an underage girl,” Whitis said. “When the officer came back to serve him with the warrant he had taken off with the girl. We ended up apprehending them in a hotel in Florence. If he had been arrested on a pc (probable cause) we wouldn’t have found her pregnant with his child in a hotel room.”
Law enforcement officers checked registered sex offenders for compliance. Offenders must have accurate address information, must not live with any children and prohibits them from living within 1,000 ft of schools, licensed daycares or publicly owned playgrounds. Sex offenders may not have any software programs that enable chatting online nor possess any social media accounts.
“Ten percent of offenders violate the conditions of their release,” Carl said. “This is an effort to save these kids’ lives. What these perpetrators do affect families and generations of children. It’s not our job, but our duty as law enforcement to protect these victims.”
“This is the first time an operation has taken place on this level,” said Tim Moore, a detective for Kentucky State Police Post 5. “At Post 5 we do compliance checks once a quarter. Noncompliant issues usually come from things like change of address from our 90-day mailers (offenders who must verify their information every 90 days) or if there is a change to any part of the form and they have not done that change in person with probation or parole like E-mail addresses.”