Sex Offender Registry

Florida Cops Re-Arrest 26 Sex Offenders in 'Operation Karma.' Their Crime? Not Updating Their Car Info.

Most of the perpetrators committed offenses decades ago, and pose no danger to the community.

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Offenders
Alexander Melnikov | Dreamstime.com

The Polk County Sheriff's Department in Florida is touting its successful completion of "Operation Karma," a three-day sting in which cops arrested 26 registered sex offenders for violating various legal obligations imposed on them.

"They are apparently up to no good and we are going to hold them accountable," Sheriff Grady Judd promises The Miami Herald.

But there is no evidence that any of the arrested people were a danger to anyone. They were not re-arrested for approaching children, or committing sex acts. In most cases, they were arrested for failing to register their vehicles with the government. This is understandable: sex offenders in Florida are required to provide the government with up-to-date information regarding their name, age, sex, height, weight, tattoos, hair color, address, email address, telephone number, social media accounts, employment information, and vehicle information. It's probably fairly easy for a sex offender to forget to constantly re-supply necessary information.

But it's absurd to suggest that these un-registered cars posed some kind of danger to the community. And yet The Miami Herald happily entertained this fantasy, allowing Grady and his office to essentially take a victory lap in the pages of the newspaper. The Herald also printed the mugshots of all the offenders, listed their names, and provided not only the reason for their re-arrests but information on their initial arrests. In practice, this means that many of these offenders—who range in age from 57 all the way down to 19—are being shamed for crimes they committed years and decades ago.

A bunch of mugshots of middle-aged men convicted of sex offenses against minors makes for a frightening image. But I did the math, and most of these people were in their 20s, or teens themselves, when they were first convicted.

One of the sex offenders, whom I will call J.S., was convicted of molesting a victim who was less than 12-years-old. This was in 2005, and J.S. is currently 25—meaning that at the time of the alleged crime, J.S. would have been about 12 himself. Another perpetrator, C.C., who is currently 39, was convicted in 1998 of lewd conduct toward a person under the age of 16. This man would have been about 18 in 1998. Both were re-arrested for failing to register their cars.

I don't mean to excuse these people's bad behavior, and I don't know the specific details of their crimes. But the premise of the sex offender registry is that citizens deserve to know if people who live in their community are inclined to prey on their children. I am not convinced that the vast majority of these perpetrators represent any lingering threat, or that forcing them to register a new car or address with the government is defensible.

The name of this sting—"Operation Karma"—implies that the perpetrators' bad decisions are finally catching up with them. Instead, we see the reverse: The perpetrators have already been punished, and the authorities refuse to let them move on.

NEXT: Indiana Cops are Charged with Federal Civil Rights Violations for Beating a Handcuffed Man

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  1. All cops deserve to be shot in the face

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    2. I think just most. Certainly people who support this do.

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    4. That’s categorically untrue. But enough do that it’s probably not worth the effort to determine those who don’t.

  2. Rearresting the same people is the most efficient way to look like heroes and send new photo ops to the press. Do you know how difficult it is to get a jury to convict a 12 year old boy of sex crimes these days?

    This is understandable: sex offenders in Florida are required to provide the government with up-to-date information regarding their name, age, sex, height, weight, tattoos, hair color, address, email address, telephone number, social media accounts, employment information, and vehicle information.

    Libertarians could set up social media accounts critical of the police and mail the information to these prisoners so they could claim the accounts on the registry. It’s an opportunity to force police to view anti-police social media feeds.

    1. Nice! except that it would just trigger more cop brutality, and I suspect most of the sex offenders just want to stay off their radar.

      1. Nuff said. Discrete accidents are more appropriate in this case. What type of health insurance do Florida cops have?

  3. Let me guess… the police found these same people who didn’t use some extraordinary registration system by using the likes of voter registration, car registration [per normal DMV], or just paying taxes? Wasn’t that hard to do, was it? It’s a very odd system: if we want to give life sentences, then start that argument; or if these basis crimes warrant permanent parole supervision then that’s another discussion. Either way, I hope Florida joins the rest of the Gulf of Mexico to become just another part of the worlds biggest sinkhole. The land of hanging chads and ‘save the bales’ bumper stickers isn’t worth saving.

    1. For a minute I thought this article was about Pedo Jeffy and PB/moneyshot.

    2. It’s very sensible, and not a life sentence, to demand sex offenders remain very visible to law enforcement.

      1. Nope. Not sensible at all. Which is why we don’t do it for any other crimes. It’s not useful at all either. Informed people know that well.

        Today, there are literally zero informed, unbiased people who are actually serious about public safety or protecting children who support the Registries. Zero. The only “people” left who do are people getting something from it and uniformed rubes. And obviously no actual American can think Registries are acceptable.

        Lastly, you shouldn’t call people names. Since you do people can call you a douche bag.

        Have a hateful day.

  4. misunderstanding karma can be bad.

    1. Hopefully karma has not forgotten the dear sweet police.

  5. And yet The Miami Herald happily entertained this fantasy, allowing Grady and his office to essentially take a victory lap in the pages of the newspaper.

    They can’t all be the Sun-Sentinel.

    Also, the problem you have is with the sex offender registry and the regulations attached to it.

  6. I recall that the synth pop group Operation Karma had a 12 inch re-mix of “Sex Offender;” and is very rare.

    But another re-mix of it is by Scott. IMHO, not as good as the original.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfCYZ3pks48

  7. Wild thought. Once a person has served their time, leave them alone.

    1. Hopefully that comment doesn’t unfairly earn you the same reputation Cathy or Jeff have been saddled with recently.

      Ps I agree.

  8. “It’s probably fairly easy for a sex offender to forget to constantly re-supply necessary information.”

    They will be relieved of the burden of getting that right in prison.

    “But there is no evidence that any of the arrested people were a danger to anyone. ”

    You mean except their prior criminal convictions and failure to fulfill the terms of their release?

    1. Awww, you’ve forgotten one of the key lies of the Registries. These are not “terms of their release”. These are just punishments that are added at any time that some idiot criminal legislator gets a whim in their tiny little brain. Remember the lie – the Registries are not punishment, they are a civil regulation.

      People who think this is okay deserve a bullet between the eyes. Or at least kicked out of America. Have a hateful day.

    2. Aren’t you a lovely little Nazi.

  9. Florida cops are too busy cowering outside schools with active shooters to go find actual criminals.

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  11. I think requiring sex offenders to register their motor vehicles is entirely defensible. You know, so that if the cops spot a car loitering outside a school they can quickly determine whether the owner is a convicted pedophile. If that makes me un-libertarian, I can live with it.

    1. So … there are people who would molest or rape children who are too law-abiding to drive an unregistered car?

      1. Even child molesters have a line they won’t cross.

    2. Fair enough.

      Then why not make the punishment a $200 fine with no arrest or jail time for failing to do the car registration; in addition to making the citation a pretext for probable cause if you think the offender will actually show up to a school, and THEN arrest them on further charges. As in doing actual police work.

    3. Nope. No American can support it.

      Perhaps these worthless law enforcement people can just worry about any and all cars that are hanging around schools? Then they won’t need their big government hit list. That’s what people with brains think.

    4. Are you aware that most of the crimes that require sex offender registration have nothing to do with minors? Many of the other cases are something like an 18 year old boy sleeping with his 16 year old girlfriend.

      Here are some of the offenses, (not involving minors) that require sex offender registration in FL:

      Kidnapping (which would include a dude that has a fight with his ex and prevents her from leaving)

      False imprisonment (same)

      Indecent exposure (which includes taking a drunken wizz in an ally)

      Sexual battery (which includes drunkenly grabbing an adult’s ass)

      Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person (don’t slap an AARP member’s butt)

      Computer pornography (goodbye PornHub?)

      Transmission of pornography by electronic device or equipment (no more dick pics)

      Sexual misconduct (???)F

  12. What it means is that the legislature is in session and the Florida Sheriff’s Association is about to make a big pitch for Mo’ Money–to keep us safe, you know.

    Grady Judd is one of the vilest human beings on the face of the earth.

    1. Amen. That is why it is important to always vote against big government people who support Registries. Their hit list have no legitimate purpose. They are certainly not needed by anyone. Easily demonstrable.

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  18. Yet another proponent of not enforcing laws?

    It is absolutely sensible to treat sex offenders as if they are a permanent threat, and insist that they remain visible.

    1. Nope. Not sensible at all. Which is why we don’t do it for any other crimes. It’s not useful at all either. Informed people know that well.

      Today, there are literally zero informed, unbiased people who are actually serious about public safety or protecting children who support the Registries. Zero. The only “people” left who do are people getting something from it and uniformed rubes. And obviously no actual American can think Registries are acceptable.

      Lastly, you shouldn’t call people names. Since you do people can call you a douche bag.

      Have a hateful day.

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