SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A “massive statewide sex offender operation” leads to the arrest of eight fugitives wanted for child sex crimes and 33 offenders being screened for prosecution or who were arrested, for not abiding by the law.
Eleven agencies from the Wasatch Front, as far as east the Uintah Basin, and down to Washington County and St. George participated in a two-week operation called “Operation Reboot.”
“Operation Reboot” served two purposes: to utilize the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team to remove “violent fugitive sex offenders from Utah communities” and to have state agencies conduct statewide sex offender compliance checks, “to ensure Utahns who are convicted sex offenders and who are required by law to register as sex offenders have done so.”
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, worked together to locate fugitive sex offenders who were in violation of the Adam Walsh Act. Under the act, the USMS takes the lead in investigating violations of federal sex offender registration laws and to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions.
“In conjunction with the act’s intent, Operation Reboot placed the highest priority on those who have committed violent acts and crimes against children,” according to a press release sent out by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“Operation Reboot” started on August 3, with police officers knocking on doors to conduct sex offender compliance checks.
“Compliance checks are used to ensure sex offenders are living at their address of record with the state and to confirm offenders who are required by law to register have done so,” according to the release.
During the operation, officers checked the registration status of nearly 1,000 of the state’s, 8,000 registered sex offenders.
Officers found that nearly 20 percent of the offenders checked were non-compliant, meaning they did not meet their registration requirements under Utah law.
The press release states that, “those offenders who failed to register include offenders who committed rape against children, parole fugitives, and offenders living in homes with children present.”
Thirty-three offenders are being screened for prosecution or were arrested during the compliance portion of the operation.
In addition, the USMS and local officers arrested eight fugitives wanted for sex crimes.
- Scott Swift of Salt Lake City who was wanted for a warrant related to an Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor.
- Alan Shepherd of West Jordan for three counts of Rape of a Child.
- Adam Liu of Salt Lake City for Failure to Register as Sex Offender after being charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor.
- Rudolfo Jesus Trevino of Salt Lake City for a Parole Violation after being charged and convicted of three counts of Rape of a Child and two counts of Forcible Sexual Abuse and ten counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
These cases will be referred to the United States Attorney’s Office or local prosecutors in these local communities.
The operation officially ended on August 14, but officers have more checks planned in the coming weeks.
“A major priority of my office is to utilize our authority under the Adam Walsh Act to help protect those most vulnerable to sex offenders,” said Matthew D. Harris, U.S. Marshal for the District of Utah. “There is nothing more important than protecting our children and our community from child sex predators. An operation of this size and complexity is no easy task, but if it saves just one child or potential victim from a sex offender who has gone unchecked, it’s worth every dime we put into the operation.”
“Before COVID-19 kids had School Resource Officers, teachers, counselors, and friends to lean on if abuse was occurring in the home. In our current times some kids are being exposed to unsupervised sex offenders. The purpose of the checks the US Marshals and local law enforcement are conducting is to make sure sex offenders are living up to the requirements the court has mandated. The whole objective of the visits is to keep our children safe,” explained Steve Labrum with the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office.
The U.S. Marshals Service VFAST is responsible for more than 125 sex offender arrests in the last 18 months.
Agencies who participated in ‘Operation Reboot’ include:
- Heber City PD
- Park City PD
- Provo PD
- Salt Lake City PD
- St. George PD
- Utah County Sheriff’s Office
- Uintah County Sheriff’s Office
- Vernal PD
- Wasatch County Sheriffs Office
- Washington County Sheriffs Office
- West Jordan PD
If you or someone you know is a victim of a child sex crime, report it through the Safe UT App, or call the State Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (855) 323-3237.
WATCH THE FULL NEWS CONFERENCE:
ABC4’s Brittany Johnson received exclusive, unprecedented access to ‘Operation Reboot.’ Tonight, on ABC4 News at 10, watch as she hits the streets with law enforcement during their compliance checks.