Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department
Sweetwater County detectives and deputy United States Marshals recently carried out a sweep of registered sex offender compliance checks throughout Sweetwater County.
 
Captain Rick Hawkins said the teams of county and federal officers carried out 74 registered offender compliance checks in Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, Green River, Farson, Wamsutter, and Bairoil. Eight registered offenders were found to be non-compliant, which is a felony offense. Charges are being filed against the eight.
 
Under Wyoming law, sex offenders must register with their local sheriff's department. Offenders are photographed and fingerprinted and must also provide a range of information, including address, place of employment, and vehicle information. They must tell authorities if they move or change jobs. Offender’s photographs and other information are then posted on the DCI website. 
 
The United States Department of Justice maintains a national sex offender registry website, which is called the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Website after Dru Kathrina Sjodin, a University of North Dakota student who was the victim of kidnapping, rape, and murder in 2003 at the hands of convicted sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. Rodriguez was convicted of Sjodin’s murder and sentenced to death in 2006.
 
Officials named the sweep “Operation Jessica” for nine-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford, who was abducted, raped, and murdered in Homosassa, Florida in 2005 by 47-year-old John Couey, a convicted sex offender who lived near her.  An autopsy determined that Couey buried Jessica alive in garbage bags and she suffocated to death.
 
A Florida judge sentenced Couey to death in 2007, but he died in prison of natural causes in 2009.
 
The United States Marshals Service’s involvement in the sweeps stems from the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act,. SORNA requires convicted sex offenders to register. Those who don't can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.