Phoenix, AZ - Throughout the month of October, Deputy U.S. Marshals, Task Force Officers, and numerous federal, state, and local partners collaborated in “Operation Safe Treat 2015” across the state of Arizona. This operation targeted fugitive sex offenders, child predators with outstanding arrest warrants and those wanted for crimes against children. 70 arrests were made and 83 warrants were cleared during the operation, ensuring the continued safety of the community.
"An operation such as this truly hits home when the focus is on keeping our most innocent citizens out of harm’s way this Halloween season," stated David P. Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona.
Of those 70 arrests, they include 23 for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, 32 for Sex Offenses/Sex Assaults, and 8 for Child Molestation. The following arrests are examples of the sex offenders targeted during this operation.
Steven Irish, 29, was arrested for violating the conditions of his probation. Irish was previously convicted of brutally raping a victim who was known to him. Based on this conviction, Irish is required to register as a sex offender. Irish absconded from his registered address and after an intense investigation, was found hiding in Mesa.
Walter Quezada, 28, was arrested for violating the conditions of his probation. Quezada was previously convicted of Sexual Conduct with Minor in which the victim was under the age of 15. Based on this conviction, Quezada is required to register as a sex offender. In April 2014, Quezada cut off his GPS electronic monitoring device and fled the Phoenix area. In a collaborative effort with Mexican authorities, Quezada was located and arrested in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
Renard Amos, 27, was arrested in Tucson, Arizona. Amos was wanted by the California Department of Corrections for violating his conditions of parole. Amos was previously convicted of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape. It is alleged that on September 22, 2015, Amos violated his conditions of parole by entering a convenience store in San Rafael, California, attempting to pass a fictitious check. After overhearing the clerk contact the police, Amos proceeded to jump over the counter and assault the clerk, resulting in serious injury. Amos subsequently fled to Tucson where Task Force Officers found him in a residence hiding in a utility closet.
Operations conducted this time of year are not meant to deter children or their parents from participating in a fun and festive Halloween. A primary goal of Operation Safe Treat 2015 was to ensure that the seasons’ celebrations remain a safe and enjoyable holiday for children by apprehending fugitive sex offenders. A vital component for the success of this operation was the contribution made by state and local law enforcement counterparts throughout Arizona, whose cooperation was essential in coordinating and executing this effort.
“I commend our partners at the U.S. Marshals Service for their efforts to ensure that registered sex offenders are complying with their court ordered requirements” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “My office will be equally as diligent in prosecuting those who seek to avoid accountability for their criminal actions and who pose a continued threat to the community.”
“The Tucson Police Department, in concert with the United States Marshals Service, conducted Operation Safe Treat 2015 over the past two weeks,” said Tucson Chief of Police Roberto A. Villaseñor. “During that time, 556 compliance checks with Level 0 and Level 1 offenders were conducted. Those compliance checks resulted in the arrest of 7 absconders. Operation Safe Treat helps ensure that the Halloween seasons' celebrations are safe and enjoyable for Tucson families.”
"Operation Safe Treat clearly demonstrates the United States Marshals’ and Pima County law enforcement's unparalleled commitment to protecting our most precious resource from a sometimes hidden danger,” Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall stated. “This operation ensures that registered sex offenders are properly registered and living at their registered addresses. This operation also ensures that registered sex offenders are not opening their doors to our children on Halloween Night."
A critical aspect of this operation is also to ensure registered sex offenders are residing at their place of record. This phase continues today as law enforcement personnel team up with probation officers in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma to conduct compliance checks intended to ensure that supervised sex offenders are complying with their terms of probation and are not participating in any Halloween activities.
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.