Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Carmel on the Case: Sex Offender Sweep
A behind-the-scenes look at what happens when the Probation Department conducts surprise searches at the homes of sex offenders. Wait until you see the "reading materials" and weapons seized.
(WSVN) --Broward County probation officers enforce a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sex offenders who violate probation.
Sarah Harrington: "Hi, it's Sarah from Probation. Is Ira here?"
Teams like this one - backed by BSO deputies - surprise offenders - who have no choice but to let them search their homes.
Carmel: "Why did you have the pornography with your background?"
Ira Graham, Sex Offender: "I didn't know it was there."
Sexually stimulating material is a probation violation for most.
From what's on the computer...
To what's playing in the VCR...
It's all open to scrutiny.
34-year-old Ira Graham of Fort Lauderdale got arrested when probation officers discovered a pornographic video and magazines.
Donald Monroe, Probation Administrator:"This individual is on for sexual battery and he's not supposed to be in possession of this stuff."
Graham, whose victim was under 18, had been free for only a couple of months.
LeroyKellog, Sex Offender: "I had an accident you know..."
72-year-old LeroyKellog has been on probation since 1989.
His crimes...lewd and lascivious behavior on a child under 16 and sexual battery on a victim under twelve.
Carmel: "He failed to change his address on his driver's license. And while that may not sound like much, for a man like Leroy Kellog, it's a third degree felony."
Carmel: "So you think it was a mistake at the DMV that it didn't get recorded?"
Kellog: "It should be - it should be down there."
The state uses the address to track offenders and accurately list them on the internet.
If they make a move - neighbors need to be warned.
Probation Officer: "Hi George, how are you? Probation."
Fifty-year-old George Weiland's neighbors in Oakland Park knew he was a sex offender because they got notices when he moved in.
When probation officers moved in ... You can't help but wonder if he was thinking about what was in his dresser drawer.
There was a loaded 38 revolver!
He also had - razor sharp swords - a bb gun and two sets of handcuffs.
Monroe: "He's going to jail. He's going to be in on no bond ... Convicted felon - convicted sex offender, at that - with these kinds of weapons, indicates to us that this guy was - really needed to be off the streets."
Carmel: "Why did you have a gun and handcuffs in your home? What was the purpose in having those?"
Weiland - who was on probation for lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 16 - wasn't talking.
And neither was Warren McIntosh who was discovered to have been visiting computer porn sites.
Carmel: "Why would you be going on a pornographic site on the internet when you're on probation like this?"
He's considered a predator in connection with a sexual battery.
Authorities say there were over one thousand pornographic images on his computer.
On this night the teams searched 50 of the 700 sexual offenders on probation in Broward.
Four were locked up as a result.
The department's administrator says the public should know - his teams will be back - again and again.
Monroe: "We're gonna be out there day - night - weekends - monitoring and supervising these cases…making sure their children are protected and safe from such predators."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
305-627-CLUE in Miami-Dade
954-921-CLUE in Broward