DETROIT (FOX 2) - Michigan State Police had a busy week last week.
Sweeping through southeast Michigan during "Operation Final Countdown," they arrested 12 non-compliant sex offenders.
"They do have duties and obligations that they have to follow," said Brenda Hoffman, of the sex offender registry enforcement unit, "and if they don't follow those, they can be criminally prosecuted for that."
Teaming up with the U.S. Marshals Service for a two-day enforcement sweep, officers went looking for 35 individuals in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties who were violating the sex offenders registration act.
"They weren't living where they were reporting, or they were failing to verify, or both," said Hoffman.
From that information, Hoffman said they were able to contact 26 of the offenders, eventually arresting 12. All of them have been charged - including one who was found in Arkansas, with a new sex crime.
Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of sex offenders, totaling 43,000. Of that total, 32,000 live on the streets. Buried in the statistics is one curious reveal: all of the arrests except one were listed as tier three offenders.
"A tier one offender has to come in once a year for 15 years, a tier two offender comes in twice a year for 25 years and a tier three offender comes in quarterly for all of their life," said Hoffman.
It's not easy catching these offenders. They don't want to be caught, which makes this sweep such a success. One offender, Silas Jones of Westland had 11 aliases. Another, Tsuyoshi Keel of Clinton Township lied about is name before becoming uncooperative.
Despite the success, Hoffman touts the public's involvement in helping catch criminals. You can call the tip line at 866-761-7678.