August 23, 2012
U.S. marshals conduct sex offender compliance operation
early Tuesday morning, law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals
Service, the sheriff’s offices of the affected counties, the North
Carolina Division of Community Corrections, and the Plymouth Police
Department set out to verify that all registered sex offenders in Dare,
Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties were in compliance with North
Operation Pharos was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive
Task Force, along with the state and local law enforcement agencies.
By the end of the operation Wednesday, authorities had visited the
homes of each of the 95 registered sex offenders in the selected
In addition to verifying the compliance of the registered sex
offenders, officers also arrested four individuals on a variety of
charges, and seized three firearms. Additional arrests are possible as
a result of on-going investigations in the four counties.
Those arrested are:
Gregory Todd Richardson, 49, of Duck, was arrested on an outstanding
warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex
Eric Sykes, 41, of Columbia, was charged as a felon in possession of a firearm.
Marcus Shaw, 40, of Engelhard, was arrested on an outstanding order for
arrest for failing to pay child support out of Chowan County.
Martin L. Hardy, Jr., 29, of Manteo, was arrested on an outstanding
order for arrest based on an indictment for forgery of an instrument
and uttering forged instrument.
This operation is the first of its kind to be conducted in these
counties and follows the successful conclusion of other such operations
sponsored by the U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of North
On July 27, 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child
Protection and Safety Act. This legislation is aimed at sex offenders
who fail to comply with state law by moving from state to state and
failing to notify the required authorities of their current location.
Prior to this federal law, such sex offenders could easily move to new
communities undetected, where they were less likely to be recognized
and therefore more readily able to re-offend on unsuspecting victims
and their families.
The U.S. Marshals Service has been tasked as the lead investigative
agency to enforce the Adam Walsh Act. As a result, Sex Offender
Investigations Coordinators are stationed in every judicial district
throughout the United States and its territories. The goal of the
marshals is to assist local and state jurisdictions in assuring that
sex-offenders comply with it the requirements of the act, in addition
to prosecuting those who violate it.
And in an effort to fulfill this obligation, the marshals have
developed a system of partnering with state and local agencies
responsible for managing and maintaining sex offender registries, and
for dealing with any such offenders who fail to obey legal obligations
and restrictions applicable to them by order of the courts.
Since January 2009, the marshals have conducted 598 sex
offender-specific operations, involving 12,529 state and local law
enforcement personnel from 3,156 state and local agencies. 109,703
compliance checks have been conducted and 45,592 fugitive sex offenders
have been arrested.
“Operation Pharos has sent a loud and clear message to the violent
criminals and sex offenders throughout the counties of Dare, Hyde,
Tyrrell, and Washington,” stated Scott J. Parker, U.S. Marshal for the
Eastern District of North Carolina. “The message that was sent out by
the United States Marshals Service and the other agencies involved is
that working collaboratively, we will utilize all resources available
to seek out individuals attempting to avoid prosecution and we will
work tirelessly to ensure that the community and the children of the
community are safe from sex offenders.”
Doug Doughtie, Sheriff of Dare County, said, “One of the most important
tasks assigned to the Sheriff is the registration and monitoring of
convicted sex offenders. In Dare County, we take this task seriously.
We have an investigator that monitors the registered sex offenders on a
daily basis, making sure that we have accurate records of their places
of residence, and other things required by statute.
“We periodically conduct surprise visits and compliance checks. We were
fortunate to have the assistance of U.S. Marshal Scott Parker, several
of his Deputy U.S. Marshals, N.C. Probation Officers. and local
officers in conducting this week’s compliance operation. When law
enforcement agencies can work together, the public benefits. I want to
thank Marshal Parker and all of the various agencies that participated
in this important operation.”
“The Hyde County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the opportunity to work
with the U.S. Marshals Service in conjunction with N.C. Probation and
Parole in Operation Pharos,” said Sheriff David Mason.