Sex offenders ‘primary targets’ of new task force

EVERETT — On any given day, there are 3,000 felony arrest warrants waiting to be served in Snohomish County.

The mission of a new law enforcement task force is to track down the “worst of the worst” from that list.

In January, the U.S. Marshal’s Office began working directly with the state Department of Corrections and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, pooling their expertise and resources to catch the fugitives.

The Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force examined the county-wide warrant list and trimmed it to about 900 offenders. It then drilled down to identify dozens of sex offenders who, at one time or another, committed crimes against children.

“They are our primary targets,” Western Washington’s U.S. Marshal Mark Ericks said. “There are about 100 that we considered to be violent sex offenders and their victims have either been children or they have in their past convictions for crimes against children.”

On its first night, the task force made three arrests, Ericks said.

Along the way, the task force is assisting with arrests in other pressing cases both on and off the list.

So far, it has served more than 50 arrest warrants and seized more than $5,500 in cash and a dozen firearms.

On March 7, for instance, officers pulled over an Everett man, 35, who had two warrants for driving with a suspended license. They found a baggie of heroin during a stop. A search of the man’s home by the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force turned up a half pound of heroin and five loaded firearms. The man had five previous felony convictions and had recently been released from prison.

“If you are a fugitive from justice in our county, let this serve as notice that we are coming after you,” Sheriff John Lovick said.

Some of the targeted fugitives remain in the area; others have moved away. Some are wanted for old cases that the suspects have been dodging for many years.

“The people on this list don’t want to be found,” Ericks said. “None of these are people you would want for a neighbor. These people are not to be trifled with. They are dangerous people. Everyone we catch improves the safety in our community.”

The task force also is working with police in Arlington, Marysville, Everett and Tulalip, as well as the Washington State Patrol.

It’s up to each agency within the task force to pay the costs of extradition for their caseloads.

Last week, the Snohomish County Council kicked in $20,000 to help pay extradition costs for sheriff’s office fugitives caught outside of the area.

“The additional funding is a small price to pay for getting dangerous criminals off the street and providing a safer environment for our residents,” Snohomish County Council chairwoman Stephanie Wright said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Man on ferry accuses child of theft, allegedly pulls knife

The man was arrested, no one was hurt, and the ferry was delayed 30 minutes on its way to Mukilteo.

State is close but still not compliant in school-funding case

Lawmakers must act during the next legislative session to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Dems say GOP tax plan doesn’t add up for everyone

Rep. Suzan DelBene’s amendments to restore deductions, which the bill does away with, were rejected.

Most Read