'Operation Lump of Coal' targets unregistered sex offenders in s - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

'Operation Lump of Coal' targets unregistered sex offenders in southern W.Va.

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US Attorney Booth Goodwin; photo by Caroline Bach US Attorney Booth Goodwin; photo by Caroline Bach

BECKLEY (WVVA) - The third compliance sweep for sex offenders in West Virginia, since last December, is underway.

Dubbed ‘Operation Lump of Coal,' the sweep is a combined effort between US Marshals, the West Virginia State Police, and the US Attorney's Office.

A total of 317 compliance checks were made to ensure that sex offenders who live in West Virginia have registered themselves with State Police.

Sex offenders are only required to register once a year, so US Marshals say offenders can fall through the cracks when they move.

At Friday's press conference, officials reiterated the importance of sex offenders registering when they change addresses.

There are only 13 Deputy US Marshals in southern West Virginia, and one's sole purpose is to check up on sex offenders.

Representatives from the three departments made it very clear, they're not backing down.

"If they fail to comply with these registry requirements, they do face years in prison," said US Attorney Booth Goodwin. "So all the more essential for them to register and comply with these regulations."

The West Virginia State Police are making checks beyond the compliance sweeps almost every day, they say.

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