“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!

      • #78505 Reply
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        Ed C

        I might add that you should not even step out onto the porch to talk. Your 4th Amendment rights are strongest at the threshold of your home. Until you ask them to leave, they can lawfully be on your porch; that is a portion of your property available to the general public. Nothing you say to police can help you, except perhaps “please leave my property.” Oh, and what the hell were U.S. Marshalls doing there? Oy vey!

        Veritas.

    • #78472 Reply
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      SASHA

      This is a reason to “defund the police” movement. Not to defund them out of business but to limit the amount of funding so these things are less likely to waste taxpayers dollars.

    • #78546 Reply
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      Lady Justice Myth

      Sounds like some cops were low on christmas present money this year and said ‘Hey, lets f*&k with the people required to register! Pretend we are doing a public safety operation and collect overtime to buy little joey that GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip!”

    • #79026 Reply
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      Tim Davich

      I have heard of these types of things happening when the registry first came out. The police would do training and part of the training was a missing child. So, they would visit all the RSO’s in the area, ask them a bunch of questions and even arrest a few for not being in compliance. It pissed me off then, and I was not an RSO, so to hear that something like this is happening again makes me mad all over again. Whether a person is on Supervision or not should not matter, If Law enforcement show up at your door and it is not a scheduled visit to update your info or your agent checking on you. They are violating your rights and misusing the information on the registry, Which in most states it clearly says that this information is not to be used to harass, intimidate, threaten any RSO. That in and of itself calls for a suit to be filed, as the information is being misused, and for any of the above mentioned reasons. For those of us who are not on any supervision, It would be a clear constitutional violation for them do do anything like this and as mentioned in another post a violation of your 4th amendment and other amendment rights to do this. I have no issue if there is a legitimist reason to visit me, but if it’s for training or any other reason, I’m not taking part and they will be asked to leave like any other trespasser on my property, as well as being advised of being trespassed from my property as to ever return will be prosecuted as such. Even RSO’s on supervision have all rights returned to them when not incarcerated, your rights have limitations placed on them, such as 4th amendment, you can be searched as well as your property at anytime. But all other rights are intact, learn them, live by them, protect them.

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