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Cherokee County rounds up sex offenders

7-11-2012 Georgia:

WOODSTOCK, GA (CBS ATLANTA) - On Wednesday, law enforcement officers conducted a massive sweep to make sure convicted sex offenders living in Cherokee County are not breaking the law.

More than 40 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies hit the streets to track down 182 registered sex offenders.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office does these big checks twice a year.

"This is one of our big checks, but year round we go to their homes to make sure they are registered and following the law," said Capt. Joe Perkins.

Perkins is on the VIPER team, which stands for Violent Incident Proactive Enforcement Response.

"You want to make sure where they say they are living they are actually living there," Perkins said. "We verify the offenders five to six times a year and take a new picture and fingerprints once a year."

CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska rode with Perkins and Detective Bob Post. The team went door to door to check on the status of some of the county's most violent criminals.

"Some are convicted of child molestation, rape, child pornography, taking pictures of naked children," Perkins said. "In order to protect the community and our kids, we have to make sure we are watching where they are."

Cherokee County has a total of 213 offenders. Out of that number, 31 are in jail.

At one of the offenders' homes, Perkins knocked on the door, but the offender was not home. They will go back later and try and make sure the address listed matches.

"Since he is not here, and there is the realtor box still on the door, it gives us some suspect. We've got to verify his story now," Perkins said.

At another home in the county, deputies caught up with convicted sex offender O. J. Lillo. Lillo, according to Perkins, was unregistered in Maryland and moved to Georgia. Lillo bought a home and had been living in it since late June, according to Perkins.

"This is a dangerous situation," Perkins said. "Luckily, Maryland contacted us to let us know he had unregistered in that state so we could verify him here. If they had not done that, of course we would not know he was living here."

"I called up to register," Lillo told Paluska. "That's why I'm here."

"Lillo had all of the information he needed from Maryland to register in the state of Georgia, and despite what he said, he had no intentions of registering," Perkins said.

Lillo was arrested for violating Georgia's sex offender registry.

"That is no good at all," said Marvin Crouch.

Crouch lives across the street from the home Lillo just purchased.

"When you are hiding, obviously you are hiding from something. But, I am glad they got him," Crouch said. ..Source.. by Mike Paluska

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