JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY)– Pender and Onslow counties are cracking down on sex offenders.
U.S. Marshals and several other agencies discussed a recent operation that targeted sex offenders. The project is called Operation Valor. They sent out 70 officers in divided teams to the homes of registered sex offenders in Onslow and Pender county.
“I think our community needs to come together to make sure we know who they are and where they’re located especially for the safety of our children and our community,” Cheryl Kelley said.
Kelley is a social worker and a mom. She says it is her right to know about the sex offenders in her area. That’s why the us marshal service designed Operation Valor.
“We went one step further,” U.S. Marshal, Scott Parker said. “We want the citizens who pay our salary of Pender County, Onslow County and the Eastern District of North Carolina to hold us accountable to make sure their neighborhoods are safe.”
Officers from several agencies went knocking on the doors of all sex offenders this week.
“Violations such as living too close to a school or day cares,” Lt. Mark Scott explained. “We’re checking a number of things. So, prevention is a big thing.”
After checking all 100 Pender county sex offenders, officers arrested two men. They arrested Vernon Spencer for outstanding warrants on other charges and Lee Ennis for probation violation. The Marshal Service says they did what needed to be done.
“They have no respect for the law,” Parker said. “They are going to commit another crime. So we gave them a surprise attack. We charged them and put them where they need to be, in jail and let the court deal with them.”
Kelley responded by saying, “I’m very happy to hear it. This is something that needed to be addressed and it seems like our law enforcement is on top of it. This is great.”
Officers say there are at least three other cases in Pender County that are under investigation.
They plan to continue these surprise operations to stay proactive. They want to eventually check all 44 counties in the state.
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