Attorney General’s Office Conducts Verification Operation of V.I. Sexual Offenders on STT-STJ

(U.S. Virgin Islands) – A team of Special Agents from local and federal agencies, recently conducted an operation to verify important information of 54 registered sexual offenders on St. Thomas and St. John. The purpose of the Attorney General Office’s initiative dubbed; “Operation Keeping Watch” was to ensure compliance with registration requirements.

“It is the duty of the Virgin Islands Department of Justice (“VIDOJ”) to register, monitor, and track sexual offenders who reside, attend school, and work in the United States Virgin Islands. Over the years, VIDOJ has worked extensively with the Virgin Islands Police Department (“VIPD”), as well as the United States Marshals Service and other agencies, to verify and update significant information about sexual offenders who are required to register in the Territory by conducting site checks and verifying all information on the record for each sex offender”, said V.I. Attorney General Ariel Smith.

During the operation, teams of VIDOJ agents, VIDOJ SORNA (Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act) unit, US Marshals, and VIPD officers, visited each sex offender at their place of residence. If the offender was not at home, verification was conducted at their place of employment. DOJ records show that currently, there are 54 registered sex offenders in the St. Thomas/St. John district. 52 were found to be complying with their registration requirements, while 2 are incarcerated. A similar operation will be conducted in the district of St. Croix later this year.

A registered sexual offender must notify the VIDOJ of his/her name, residence, temporary lodging information, vehicle information, Internet identifiers, telephone numbers, school information, and employment status. A team of Special Agents from the VIDOJ and SORNA unit, with the assistance of U.S. Marshals and other local and federal agencies, routinely conducts unannounced inspections of registered sexual offenders to verify their locations and other personal information, such as their work and home addresses. The Attorney General/VIDOJ is legally mandated to administer and enforce the sex offender registration laws. Registered sexual offenders in the territory are prosecuted by the Attorney General for either failing to register or not keeping their registration current, as required by this law, and if convicted, the penalty is a fine of not less than $3,000.00 or more than $5,000.00, or imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than two years, or both. The law also provides that it is an offense to assist a sex offender to evade the registration requirements, which carries a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $2,000.00, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

For questions, please contact Inais Borque, Territorial Sex Offender Registry Program Manager: (340) 773-0295 ext. 20250 on St. Croix or Nyetifah Todman, Sexual Offender Registry Coordinator: (340) 774-5666 ext. 10191, (340) 714-9645 on St. Thomas.