Sexual and violent offenders in Montana are required to register their addresses with the state, so that the public knows whether or not their neighbors are a risk factor, but making sure the Sexual and Violent Offender Registry is up to date is a complicated business. Bureau Chief Gary Seder with the Department of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice says during the first week of September a lot of groups worked together to conduct a compliance check in Yellowstone County.

“This one actually had Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office,” Seder said. “We had the Montana Department of Correction’s probation parole folks help us. The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation participated. The Marshall Service, their Billings division as well as their Sex Offender Investigative branch, also helped. The United States Federal Probation of Parole Office in Billings also assisted with it.”

Conducting the compliance check required a lot of door knocking and it appears not everyone was obeying the law.

“We actually checked 503 offenders,” Seder said. “31 of them were incarcerated so they weren’t necessarily compliant at the time because they were not at the residences, but we found that they were incarcerated. Those are actually accounted for. There were 28 of them that need some follow up work to determine if they are actually compliant, but we did have 40 for sure that were non-compliant and verified at that particular time.”

Although the state may know that at least 40 sexual or violent offenders aren’t registered at the correct address in Yellowstone County, the difficult part is in finding where they are at now.