PDT Staff Writer
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today reminded Ohio’s sheriffs that there is still money available to fund the extradition of wanted sex offenders.
Sheriff’s statewide were informed Friday that the use of the Sex Offender Extradition Reimbursement Grant has now been extended to March 31, 2014. The grant funding is used to reimburse local jurisdictions for the costs associated with the out-of-state or out-of-county extradition of noncompliant sex offenders wanted in Ohio.
“The cost of bringing an offender back to a community to face noncompliance charges can be expensive, and we want to remind authorities that we have this funding available to help,” DeWine said.
“Yes, we know about it,” Scioto County Sheriff’s Captain David Hall, who deals with many local sex offenders, said. “It has been in place for about a year now.”
Hall said the county has not had a need for the fund.
“But we will use it. We have one guy, we don’t know where he is, but if we find him out of state, we would use the fund to bring him back,” Hall said.
Hall was referring to Richard Colley. The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office entered Colley’s name in a registry for nationwide pick up. Colley, of Lucasville, is a registered sex offender out of Niagara Falls.
“We’ve issued a warrant for his arrest because he didn’t register,” Hall said. “He was supposed to register, and on July 30, 2012. I had to send him a letter, and do some verification processes with him, filing a warrant for him back in September (2012) and since then the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has been attempting to locate him. So now we have an active warrant for him for failure to register, a felony of the third degree.”
DeWine said County Sheriff’s offices throughout Ohio can take advantage of the grant money when pursuing sex offenders of any classification, including those under the Megan’s Law classification system and the 3-Tier system, who are registered in their county and have fled their jurisdiction. If a Sheriff chooses to extradite an offender, the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) will reimburse the expenses up to $2,000 per offender.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, signed into law on July 27, 2006, was intended to provide a standard method of determining sex offender classifications, and to standardize sex offender requirements in every state. Ohio adopted that federal law and made the act effective in the state on Jan. 1, 2008.
The Adam Walsh Act organizes sex offenders into three categories, or tiers, with different registration requirements based upon an offender’s criminal conviction(s). This law applies to adult offenders as well as juvenile offenders, all of whom are required to register with the sheriff of the county where they live, work and attend school. They also must register with the sheriff any time they change their place of residence.
If a sheriff opts to contract with an independent prisoner transport service to extradite the noncompliant sex offender, the sheriff’s office is eligible to be reimbursed for that expense.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.