Sweep in Missouri finds 37 unregistered sex offenders

Saturday, June 12, 2010 | 5:00 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — A federal and state sweep of sex offenders in Independence, a city of about 120,000 residents located east of Kansas City, found 37 who weren't registered correctly.

During Friday's sweep, 76 law enforcement officials from nine different agencies checked on 188 sex offenders to see whether they were complying with sex offender registration requirements, the Kansas City Star reported Saturday.

The agencies said they also examined 28 computers owned by sex offenders to determine whether they had been used to look at child pornography. Authorities said they seized several computers. Police also seized two weapons, but did not specify what type they were.

"All of this information collected in this sweep is imperative for public safety," Jackson County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Rhonda Montgomery said.

Sex offenders are required to provide information to authorities about where they live and work, along with their Internet addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. Depending on their convictions, sex offenders have to register every 90 days or semiannually.

Authorities involved in the sweep interviewed employers, neighbors and family members. Some of the 37 who weren't registered properly were arrested. Officials said others would be taken into custody soon.

Montgomery said the sheriff's office plans to ask the Jackson County Legislature to help pay for a database that would help the public learn more about the sex offenders living in their neighborhoods.

Among other things, the database would allow residents to plug in an address and learn what sex offenders live nearby. It also would track offenders with scars or tattoos.

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