The Jasper County Sheriff’s Department listed the wrong name in a press release sent Wednesday to area media about a complaince check of registered sex offenders in the county.
The press release should have indicated that Brandy Hertl, 30, was arrested at 1223 W. 9th St., Joplin, for possession of child pornography, and is charged in federal court.
Instead, it listed Damien Dentis as the man who was arrested at that address.
According to the sheriff’s department, Dentis, 32, has not been arrested or charged with any crimes and is not a registered sex offender.
A compliance check of registered sex offenders in Jasper County conducted a month ago by local and federal authorities found 30 offenders allegedly out of compliance and 16 others who had absconded.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release that officers checked on 199 of the county’s 298 registered sex offenders during the operation conducted from April 30 through May 2.
The operation is part of a child sex predator program funded by a federal grant that seeks to provide compliance checks on sex offenders in eight counties in Southwest Missouri this summer with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Area law enforcement agencies that had officers participating in the Jasper County operation included Joplin and Webb City police, and the sheriff’s departments of Lawrence, Christian and Stone counties as well as Jasper County. Federal marshals also were involved in the address checks.
The officers found that 130 of the offenders who were checked were in compliance with state and federal laws. Thirty were found not to be in compliance, and charges are being forwarded to the Jasper County prosecutor’s office with respect to each of them, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The sheriff’s office said warrants are being sought for the 16 convicted offenders who officers determined were no longer living at their registered addresses and are believed to have absconded. Twenty-three of the offenders were simply not home at the time that officers went to their homes, the sheriff’s office said.
Besides registration violations, officers involved in the operation made several arrests for other alleged crimes.
For instance, suspects at two addresses in Joplin were found to be in alleged possession of child pornography. Brandy Hertl, 30, and David Morgan, 55, were arrested and charged in federal court with possession of the illicit material.
Two women and a man were taken into custody on misdemeanor drug charges when officers went to an address on Y Street in the federal government’s temporary housing park for tornado victims. Five others were arrested on drug charges during checks on offenders at addresses on North Sergeant Avenue and South Roosevelt Avenue.
LOCAL AND FEDERAL OFFICERS invested 436 man-hours in conducting a three-day compliance check on convicted sex offenders in Jasper County, according to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.