TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA — In the early morning hours of February 9, 2012, many convicted sex offenders in Tangipahoa Parish were awakened by the sound of law enforcement officers at their door. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards lead the effort consisting of thirty-eight (38) law enforcement officers who were tasked with conducting compliance checks on area sex offenders and serving arrest warrants on individuals identified as non compliant sex offenders.
Officers were divided into teams and each team worked a specific area in Tangipahoa Parish. Officers possessed arrest warrants on twelve (12) non compliant sex offenders. Nine (9) offenders were located and arrested during the round up, including two individuals who were wanted on non sex offenses. Additionally, officers performed surprise compliance checks at seventy-one (71) area sex offender's residences.
"Our goal in conducting these types of operations is to send a message to area convicted sex offenders that compliance with sex offender registration laws is expected and required. We are seeing an increase in the amount of compliant sex offenders, which indicates that our message is being heard," Sheriff Daniel Edwards, said.
Agencies participating in "Operation Mardi Gras Mambo" included: the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, the United States Marshal's Service, and Louisiana Probation and Parole.
Those arrested include:
- Clinton Johnson - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Zebulon Ballard - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Aubrey Warren - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Clovis Collins - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Marry Dunson - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Larry Covington - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Lionell Bryant - Arrested for: Non-compliant sex offender
- Robert Strate - Arrested for: Parole violations
- Merle Hagan - Arrested for: Aggravated Second Degree Battery
"Convicted sex offenders are required to perform registration obligations which include providing accurate personal information to the public. Sex offenders who refuse to comply with these obligations are a threat to public safety and are subject to arrest and prosecution. "Operation Mardi Gras Mambo" is our latest attempt to insure that Tangipahoa Parish families have the information about convicted sex offenders that they need to keep safe, and that sex offenders who refuse to comply are brought to justice," Sheriff Daniel Edwards, said.