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94 citations & arrests made in week-long sex offender sweep
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It was one of the largest multijurisdictional enforcement efforts that the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has ever conducted.

And it was also the most fruitful.

Last week more than 100 law enforcement officers from more than a dozen agencies – local, state, and federal – conducted a week-long sweep targeting parole violators, child sex predators, human traffickers, sex offenders out of compliance, and those engaged in prostitution and the individuals that fund that enterprise.

In all there were 94 arrests and citations – 23 for attempting to meet a “minor” for sex, 18 for out-of-compliance sex offenders, 19 for solicitation of prostitution, 16 for prostitution, 6 for illegal possession of a firearm, four for pimping/pandering, four for traffic violations, and two for human trafficking.

The effort, according to Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann – who was on leave to spend time with his newborn child and returned specifically for the operation before going back to his family once it concluded – the effort was the most successful that the agency has conducted in years and represented the good working relationship between the multitudes of agencies that planned operation “More Than Adequate” for months before the sweeps began.

“We have had some success with these sweeps, and we added different facets this time – sex registrant checks, probation, parole, the fugitive task force,” Biedermann said. “Each one of those agencies has the ability to do things that we can’t do and having them involved was a force multiplier – it allowed us to target things that we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to target.

“In addition to nearly every law enforcement agency in San Joaquin County as well as state and federal authorities we had the full weight of the sheriff’s office behind this – investigations, patrol, records, and even the custodial staff from the jail was involved. It was truly a team effort.”

While previous sex offender sweeps have been conducted primarily in the evening and nighttime hours and focused on weekends, having the manpower to run two shifts – one from 12 to 10 p.m. and the other from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. – allowed for the teams to focus on different facets of the operation while overlapping during what are typically the busiest hour for such enforcement.

And teamwork was the name of the game.

According to Biedermann, despite the litany of law enforcement agencies that came together for the effort – including federal agencies with much more power than local law enforcement agencies have – it was truly a team undertaking without any individual egos clouding the mission to protect children and the community that those that prey on them and other dangerous individuals.

The sweep was chosen for when many county schools are on their spring break and children are more vulnerable to predators online and in the community.

“We were working with agencies that don’t small-scale things and had access to real-time information that really helped us out in the moment, and you were getting the best of both worlds – the big agencies with all of the resources and the local agencies that know the players and the way that things work in this area,” Biedermann said. “State Parole can violate somebody on the spot while we can’t, and the federal agencies can process things as federal crimes – it gives us as a team more tools at our disposal that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

“And there wasn’t any ego – this was a chance to create lasting relationships and work together on something like this to benefit the community. The smaller agencies learned how to conduct these on their own, while the larger agencies got to see some of the frontline efforts to take these people off of the street. It was a win-win for everybody.”

Agencies that participated included the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, Lathrop Police Services, the Sacramento Police Department, San Joaquin Women’s Center Youth and Family Services, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, San Joaquin County District Attorney Investigators, the Stockton Unified School District, the Stockton Police Department, the Lodi Police Department, the Tracy Police Department, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the San Joaquin County Probation Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Office of Correctional Safety – Adult Parole, DeliverFund, Parole Department, and the U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.