More than two hundred registered sex offenders were visited this week by lawmen in three Eastern Carolina counties, and eight of those found themselves back behind bars.
Operation Infinite Justice was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, along with deputies from Carteret, Craven and Jones counties.
Starting early Tuesday morning, lawmen went out to verify that all of the offenders in those counties were in compliance with North Carolina guidelines on registered sex offenders. Marshals say by Wednesday the group had visited the homes of 229 sex offenders.
Eight people were arrested on various charges and they seized three firearms with ammo as well as marijuana. Those arrested are:
Eric Bunting, 43, of New Bern, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.
Taron Anthony, 26, of New Bern, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.
Jerry Banks, 27, of Maysville, was arrested on outstanding warrants charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon (3 counts), possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance
Curtis West, 35, of Trenton, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.
Melvin Ward, 27, of Trenton, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.
“Operation Infinite Justice has sent a loud and clear message to the sex offenders throughout the counties of Carteret, Craven, and Jones,” said U.S. Marshal Scott Parker. “The message that was sent out by the United States Marshals Service and the other agencies involved is that working collaboratively, we will utilize all resources available to ensure that the community and children of Eastern North Carolina are safe from sex offenders.”
Craven and Carteret County District Attorney Scott Thomas said by working together the agencies can maximize efforts to protect citizens from sex offenders. "Our sex offender registration laws are only as effective as our ability to enforce compliance with them," said Thomas. "Compliance checks send the clear message to offenders that law enforcement officers are closely monitoring their actions. Violators will not be ignored, they will be prosecuted.”