Local News

Johnston authorities go door to door to check on sex offenders

Posted December 4, 2015

— Every registered sex offender in Johnston County got a visit from the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office this week.

"We’re just verifying making sure everybody’s where they’re supposed to be," Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Friday. "My job as sheriff is to make sure the sex offenders are where they say they are."

Local sheriffs' offices across 44 counties in eastern North Carolina and the U.S. Marshals Service teamed up for the operation, called "Home for the Holidays."

Sixteen teams of deputies from Johnston County checked on 209 registered sex offenders.

"We’re going to do our job, and we’re going to ensure that the sex offenders that are required by law to register with the sheriff, that they have done that," Bizzell said.

By law, registered sex offenders have three days to notify the local sheriff if they move. Failure to register is the most common violation among sex offenders.

Joseph Ford had just awakened at home in Selma when officers knocked, but he said he didn't mind.

"It's about as important as your life if you want to stay free," he said. "(The rules) are very straightforward and simple."

Ford was convicted in 2014 for indecent liberties with a minor.

Across the state over the past five years, law enforcement officers checked on almost 6,000 people, U.S. Marshal Scott Parker said.

Bizzell said his deputies would keep the heat on year-round.

"This is not just a fly-by-night thing," he said. "We will continue to monitor where the sex offenders are living. The people deserve that."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Steve Faulkner Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    Why is there a news story about a sheriff's department doing their job? And not a very good one either, looking at the insert about the number of outstanding warrants.

  • Shelly Stow Dec 5, 2015
    user avatar

    Please clarify your little "By the numbers" insert. Were the 7 arrests, the 28 outstanding warrants, and the murder warrant all--any?--registered citizens? We gave up expecting truth in advertising long ago. I am not so willing to give up insisting on truth in journalism.

  • Craig Elliott Dec 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Hey, Thanks JoCo sheriff's dept!

    I'm not sure I like the idea of people being on a list for life, but there is substantial evidence of a high recidivism rate for certain types of sex offenders.

    Anyway, LEOs don't make the law.

  • bigwilliejohnson4phun Dec 4, 2015

    What people do not realize is the government gives the false impression that everyone on the SO registry offenses involved children. This is NOT the case. The majority of the people on the registry committed MISDEMENAOR offenses that did not involve children. What I want to know is why does our government keep giving out this false impression. Is it to get more money, in their LE Budgets, protecting us from a problem that does not exist, at the levels they portray? Further, this "dog and pony," show is not an unusual round up, this is what they are required to do on a continual basis. But they want the media to give them a cookie for doing their job. How immature and disingenuous. However since they are chasing misdemeanors, that did not involve children, they are not concentrating their efforts on felonious pedophiles. So the SO registry has become so diluted it is making us less safe. The solution is to reform the registry just to include felons who are pedophiles.

  • Rosco Coltrane Dec 4, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Please just take the red pill. Take it and all will become clear in about 30 minutes. Remember, the red pill, not the blue one.

  • Melanie Lane Dec 4, 2015
    user avatar

    actually you guys read the laws .. looks like you are just mad that you couldn't get in to see trump today. You guys are the problem, if we think someone is such a threat that they should be on a registry for the rest of their lives, let's change the laws so that their crimes come with a life sentence. Don't put them out with the public and require this nebulous registry. It's gone amok, if you're found guilty of something that has any relation to sex in most states you go on the registry for life. That's not what it was sold as, it was sold to keep our children safe.. our children aren't under threat from a man and wife having sex in the pool. You can arrest them for indecent exposure and all that, but talk to police officers, read the offenses, not just what trump and fox yell at you to be afraid of. It's gone nuts..

  • BonarisNoMore Dec 4, 2015

    View quoted thread

    You obviously have NO idea why the REAL 90% of the sex offenders are registered. Hiring a PROSITITUTE (unless he/she is underage) is NOT registerable offense. Having sex in a public place with your spouse is NOT a registerable offense....READ THE LAWS!!!

  • Rosco Coltrane Dec 4, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Spoken like a true registered sex offender, or the g/f of one.

  • Melanie Lane Dec 4, 2015
    user avatar

    remember though the vast majority of those on the sex offenders list, like in the 90% level, are there for things like trying to hire a prostitute, having sex with their spouse in a public place, maybe an 18 yr old having sex with his 15 yr old gf.. shop lifting porn can get you on it.. this is another system that has gone wrong, they sell it to us based on fear of bad people but mostly catch nothing worth catching in the net but thanks to mandatory rules we don't throw them back. This is a waste or resources and money. Since the goal is to for violent offenders and/or pedophiles, keep it on that, maybe even turn those into life sentences rather than this haphazard way of monitoring people for the rest of their lives, the rest that the lawmakers have added on it is just part of why we have the largest prison population in the history of the world..