Operation Derby City Overwatch is 'a huge success'

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was a Metro-wide crackdown with Louisville's 1081 sex offenders as the target.  On May 31, agents and officers launched "Operation Derby City Overwatch," a partnership between federal and local law enforcement. Wednesday, those groups called their check of sex offenders "a huge success."

Over the last week, officers and agents put in more than 3000 man hours. The results: nine arrests and potentially more than 100 investigations that may be opened into sex offenders who may not be in compliance.

"I just don't think that's right," said Southwest Louisville resident Necole Cornelius of the cluster sex offenders who live nearby. "There's children that live out here and I don't think that's right.

Cornelius lives right up the road from a cluster of apartments on Hackel Drive, home to at least 29 registered sex offenders.

"They house them in the same apartments and it's like two minds, two sick individuals their minds colliding together," Cornelius said. "It ain't nothing good going to come out of it."

One of her neighbors was 48-year-old Eddie Owens. Owens was one of nine men arrested as a result of Operation Derby City Overwatch. Metro Police say when they went into Owens' Hackel drive apartment to check on Owens, they found child pornography.

"We let them know that we're monitoring them," said LMPD Chief Robert White.

White says with the information the task force got, police got a better idea of who they should be checking out.

"Instead of doing some of those random checks that we were doing, we'll really be able to focus on those 80 or so individuals that we really need to find out if they're in compliance," White said.

For the 108 sex offenders who are potentially out of compliance in Jefferson County, agents have a message, check in or watch out.

"If not, the Marshals Service will track you down and bring you to justice, whether or not you have fled the county, the State of Kentucky or the country," said U.S. Marshals Service Chief Deputy Brian Parrish.

Cornelius hopes they do.

"They need to do that more often -- I mean like, once a month, once a week," she said. "Maybe it could be saving a child's life. You never know. You don't know what goes on in those apartments. Who knows what goes on late at night."

Operation Derby City Overwatch was done as a result of a 2006 change in federal law that allows up to ten years in prison for not registering or not keeping their registration current. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act also makes the Marshals Service the lead federal agency for enforcement.

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