Loopholes found in sex offender registry
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Despite a state registry to track sex criminals, and local laws to separate them from kids, countless offenders are currently listed as transient -- all but untraceable by the officers tasked with tracking them.
"Officers do address verification," said Miami-Dade Police Department Major Eleasa Thompson, of the Special Victims Bureau. "It's a concern when we go and they say they live under a bridge and we go to that bridge and they're not there."
Thompson admitted to Local 10 that there are criminals they simply cannot find.
"This is absurd," said Commissioner Pepe Diaz. "There's no way this can happen, because it circumvents all our laws."
Diaz led Wednesday's unanimous vote to take a demand to close the loophole to the state -- to require real addresses from sex predators or 24/7 GPS monitoring and felony penalties if they fail to comply, even from those who claim they are homeless.
"They claim they are transient," said MDPD Sgt. Roger Irvine. "We have to take their word for it. We register them 'transient.'"
"People who are not truly homeless are using transient license to avoid monitoring as a predator offender," said Assistant County Attorney Jesse McCarty.
The sex offenders are circumventing the law. The surprise and anger are evident with criminals self-listing as transient.
"Anybody who is a sexual predator wears a bracelet, one of those GPS and we'll know exactly where they are," said Commissioner Javier Souto. "No ifs, buts or maybes."
Wednesday night, state corrections acknowledged the transient listing is an issue and is considering solutions.
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