By Joe Vigil
A Santa Fe lawyer is blasting the U.S. Marshals Service plan of going door to door to verify the addresses of convicted sex offenders in New Mexico. KOB Eyewitness News 4 broke the story last week of "Operation Cleanup."
Marshals plan to check the addresses of the nearly 3,000 registered sex offenders in the state as a matter of public safety.
Santa Fe lawyer Jason Flores-Williams, and the group Reform Sex Offender Laws New Mexico, have concerns about the plan.
Flores-Williams said other law enforcement agencies already check addresses of sex offenders, and wonders why federal authorities are getting involved in something delegated to the state.
"This is nothing more than another gutting of the constitution--a government publicity stunt designed to harass and intimidate that does nothing to enhance public safety," Williams said.
He is telling sex offenders who are not under supervision that they may videotape any encounter at their home with law enforcement and they should get the names of officers who visit.
U.S. Marshals told KOB they have no plans to enter homes. They said they do not have to go inside to check addresses.
They also said they are not conducting the operation on their own. According to the U.S. Marshals, "Operation Cleanup" is an ongoing joint effort between the Marshals Service and state, county and local agencies.
Marshal Conrad Candelaria responded to the plan as a "publicity stunt." He told KOB Monday that he is insulted hearing that. Marshal Candelaria said it is not a stunt to hold people accountable for horrendous acts against families and children.
- And horrendous acts against children also include many other criminals, yet you are not doing this for those!
He also said the Marshals Service also works hard to bring fugitives to justice, including chasing and capturing those who flee to Mexico.