Most area sex offenders follow law

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer

More than 90 percent of registered sex offenders in Curry County were found to be in compliance with state law during a week-long investigation by area law enforcement.

According to New Mexico law, all sex offenders must register with the local sheriff’s department within 10 days of release from prison, a conviction or change of residence.

Of the 67 registered sex offenders in Curry County, all but six were in compliance with the law or are currently in the custody of the Department of Corrections or in jail within the district, according to the district attorney’s office.

“In light of the recent tragedies across the county where sex offenders have slipped through the cracks only to be found after they have re-offended, we in law enforcement created an operation to verify the whereabouts of the registered sex offenders within Curry County,” 9th Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler said Thursday.

The penalty for violating the registry law is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the district attorney’s office, the following convicted sex offenders were in non-compliance:
• Fredrick Baca, 23, 901 E. Brady St.

• Todd Boswell, 37, 1319 Axtell St.

• Jonah Fletcher, 24, 1020 W. 13th St.

• Billy Griffin, 1329 S. Prince St.

• Henry Parmenter, 1309 N. Reid St.

• Robert Spadt, 47 (arrested and released)

None of the listed offenders who were in non-compliance could be reached Thursday night for comment.

“We’ve never gone out and checked every single sex offender the way that we’ve done over the last (few) days,” Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher said.

Hatcher said his department usually only checks out the location of an offender if they fail to register with his department. In those investigations, deputies will try to find out how long the offender has been missing from the residence and issue a warrant for his or her arrest.

Local law enforcement has already issued warrants for four of the six offenders who were in non-compliance, Chandler said, and will be issuing warrants for all of them.

“Due to the history of sex offenders repeating their crimes, we are very serious about keeping track of those that have offended, and if we find offenders that are not complying with the state laws we will prosecute the case,” Chandler said.

Depending on the severity of the crime committed, offenders may have to register for 10 or 20 years in their town of residence, Hatcher said. The most severe crimes may require a lifetime of registration.

Eighteen of the 67 offenders checked out during the investigation were currently on probation in Curry County, a press release from the district attorney’s office showed.

If the offender was on probation and owned a personal computer, a forensic analysis was conducted on the computer to insure no illegal items of child pornography were present, the press release said. However, the results of those searches are confidential at this time, the press release said.

The district attorney is asking for the public’s help in locating any of the sex offenders out of compliance. Those with information may call Senior Investigator Terry Mulligan at the district attorney’s office.

The law:
• A sex offender who is a current resident of New Mexico shall register with the county sheriff no later than 10 days after being released from the custody of the corrections department or being placed on probation or parole. A sex offender who changes his or her residence to New Mexico shall register with the county sheriff no later than 10 days after establishing residence in this state. When a sex offender registers with the county sheriff, he or she shall provide the following registration information:

• legal name and any other names or aliases he or she is using or has used

• date of birth

• social security number

• current address

• place of employment

• the sex offense for which he or she was convicted

• the date and place of his or her sex offense conviction