14 Arrested In Countywide Sex Offender Sweep

Authorities Check On Status Of Registered Sex Offenders In 'Operation Watchdog'

Sixty-one people were under investigation Thursday following a sweep in which hundreds of law enforcement officers fanned across San Diego County and contacted more than 800 registered sex offenders to determine if they were in compliance with the terms of their release, authorities said.

The sweep, known as "Operation Watchdog," was carried out early Wednesday morning by 300 members of the San Diego Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force, said task force commander David Collazo.

"We want offenders in San Diego to know they are being actively watched," Collazo said. "Our goal was to verify they are complying with registration laws, and to identify any illegal activity they might be engaged in."

Collazo said the vast majority of the sex offenders visited this week were in compliance with the law and living at their registered addresses.

"That's a good indicator that offenders in this community know we take the registration laws very seriously," Collazo said.

Besides the 61 individuals now under investigation, an additional 14 were arrested for various probation and parole violations -- and one was taken into custody for a suspected homicide, he said.

The searches also turned up pornography, marijuana and drug paraphernalia -- along with normally legal items many sex offenders aren't allowed to possess, like laptop computers, digital media, smart phones, alcohol and children's clothing and toys.

There are about 4,000 registered sex offenders living in San Diego County.

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