“Operation Turkey Sweep” — for those on the registry, what will be next?

By Sandy . . . As far as I can determine, prior to 2003 there were no articles linking persons on the registry with Halloween. Then, in 2003, from Bryan, Texas, Google finds this sole article: “Halloween can be a tempting time for sex offenders.” The headline comes from a quote by the county senior community supervision officer and is made with not an iota of evidence. His inflammatory rhetoric continues, “ ‘It’s very important that we go and make these checks on sex offenders. This would be a perfect night to be tempted . . . It’s like putting a bunch of minnows in a pond with piranhas. It’s just not good.’ ”

And so it begins. Fast forward to 2020 and try to count the articles linking registrants with Halloween. Patch alone is approaching a thousand.

And now, today, November 18, 2020 we have this: “Operation Turkey [Sweep] keeps sex offenders in check.” The story reports, “In Operation Turkey Sweep, West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Marshals visited 100 registered sex offenders in Raleigh County without warning.”

Is this the beginning of a new danger? Are persons with prior sexual convictions somehow a threat to public safety on Thanksgiving? How many years and how many articles will it take to make it so?

We are accustomed to those Halloween sweeps involving 20, 30, 50 officers from city, county, and state law enforcement and often also federal marshals. Operation Turkey Sweep involved the West Virginia State Police and U.S. Marshals. We are not told how many actual officers participated.

These operations cost a great deal of money. Special squads and forces are formed just for the purpose of surprise raids on the homes of registrants. Is this an example of law enforcement having excessive budgets, so excessive that they can create these special forces within departments, forces whose primary purpose is to conduct raids on a group of people who are already the most closely scrutinized and monitored and controlled of any other category of people in the country?

What will be next? Santa filling his sleigh with registrants? Cupid’s arrows aiming for the hearts of those on the registry? “Flagging” the homes of registrants on the Fourth of July?

If things stay the same, what will be next?

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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    • #78116 Reply
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      A Mistake They Made

      This is a 4th Amendment violation. A surprise visit must be answered with a surprise lawsuit. No matter how petty the damages. Examples:

      I was interrupted while I was cutting vegetables and when the door bell rang I cut my hand. I was speaking with my new girlfriend that I had not told about my past yet when they visited, and she never spoke to me again. Sue them Sue them until they cannot see straight. Liable damages sue sue sue!

      Was your house damaged by vigilantes sue.You might not win but you are going to make them worried about their stupid RSO list. If somebody does something to your property take the state to court.

    • #78135 Reply
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      Facts should matter

      “Turkey sweep?” Oh, that’s cute. har.. har..har..

      More like: “Operation Misguided Crusade” or “Operation Enduring Stupidity.”

    • #78143 Reply
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      nobody in particular

      Although there is no actual evidence to support the notion that children are in any greater danger from random perverts lurking in bushes on Halloween, at least, conceptually, that can be spun. But…Thanksgiving? I don’t recall any sensationalized stories about anyone luring little kids into a van with turkey and spiced apple cider (although, maybe that would be more effective than candy and video-games?) Also, it’s pretty jacked-up that a basic violation of supervision – which has nothing to do with an actual sex crime – could result in more prison/jail time than the initial conviction. Just what everyone needs…some overpaid rent-a-cop-squad bursting into their house right in the middle of a holdiay gathering to trash the place and make sure everyone remembers what a “sick waste of life” the regisrant is. If the economy ever reaches a point where the choice is literaly another hospital or another “sex offender operation”, people wouldn’t hesitate to opt for the latter. All that being said, I really do hope everyone here has a good Thanksgiving, and finds some warmth with family or friends. Takes care.

    • #78172 Reply
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      w

      They’re only able to keep getting away with these things because people are ignorant and biased against anything RSO.

      The only way to deal with them now is for someone to finally deliver the smackdown they deserve.

    • #78230 Reply
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      Dustin

      I’m noticing that comments on articles like this are normally pretty critical of the article itself as well as its contents. Though admittedly biased, even supportive comments don’t read as terribly persuasive.

      Since the linked article doesn’t allow for comments, please comment on the Youtube video. Eventually, the editors and decision-makers in media will stop ignoring them and at least be more impartial in their reporting.

    • #78332 Reply
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      WC_TN

      More like Operation “Harass You Just Because We Can”.
      When even your law enforcement bodies use the most ridiculing, belittling, and caustic language when referring to anything that has to do with “our people”, shouldn’t that be another piece of irrefutable, legally sufficient evidence to support the undeniable fact that the registry was designed from the ground up to be a punitive club with which the state or federal government can bludgeon us with at their every whim?

      If this kind of rhetoric can be used as legally sufficient evidence in a court of law to FURTHER prove the cruel and punitive intent behind the registry from top to bottom, WHY HASN’T IT?

      Also think back to a previous article where a police department put out their “Most Wanted” list for those who failed to do paperwork in a timely manner on Facebook and got folks to asking, “Does it matter whether they’re dead or alive?”

      When your law enforcement bodies actively, intentionally, and with malice stir up the public in that manner, there should be people going to jail and losing their badges, etc. The registry is not to be used as an instrument of retribution, but yet that’s what our law enforcement bodies use it as when they employ this kind of incendiary language.

    • #78337 Reply
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      A Mistake They Made

      Follow them with cameras while they are doing their Turkey Sweep, and call it a PIG POKE ! If the person with the camera is not a RSO and they are commenting about the constitutional violations taking place someone might care.

    • #78356 Reply
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      CJB

      If you are NOT on Probation or State Sanctioned Supervision, kindly tell these ‘people’ that you Exercise your 4th and 5th Amendment Rights…Kindly tell them to leave and DO NOT ANSWER any questions (unless your attorney is present), AND DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING….Your only obligation is to appear for registration on your due date…UNLESS they have a Search Warrant, they are not allowed on your property!…

      Exercise caution and DO NOT talk to them…Be courteous…Be Polite…Be Professional!

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