Halloween focus falls on sex offenders

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — A Garyville man was arrested Halloween night for failing to keep up with his sex offender registration requirements as part of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office effort to keep children safe during their trick-or-treating fun.

The Sheriff’s Office deployed seven teams of 14 deputies to canvass the parish for compliance checks of the 62 registered sex offenders.

Assistant Warden Lt. Gordon Jeffcoat, sex offender registration commander, said deputies found two sex offenders who were noncompliant with the night’s rules, which included displaying a sign to identify their home as one in which a sex offender resides.

The signs were given out at least a week before Halloween, Jeffcoat said, and the two offenders not in compliance did not have the signs displayed.

The two offenders were not home on Halloween night, Jeffcoat said, adding officers would follow-up with the offenders with appropriate disciplinary measures.

Jeffcoat created the system a couple years ago for identifying houses where registered sex offenders live so children would not approach those homes for Halloween. He said all offenders were told to display the signs on either their door or window, have porch lights off and have no Halloween activity or decorations at their homes.

Jeffcoat said Louisiana has “one of the toughest set of laws for sex offenders in the nation,” and the Sheriff’s Office completes comprehensive checks twice a year, at Halloween and in the spring.

Random checks and compliance meetings are also held all year long.

St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said his office will “never rest” in keeping parish residents, especially children, safe from registered sex offenders.

Jeffcoat said Terrell Williams, 44, of 295 S. Little Hope Street in Garyville was arrested Friday on a previously-issued judicial judge warrant for failing to keep up with his sex offender registration requirements.

Williams remains incarcerated in lieu of a $20,000 bond.

Jarriod Fiffie, 32, of 388 Central Avenue in Edgard was arrested Oct. 26 on a warrant for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements.

After persistent efforts of the U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force to find him, Fiffie surrendered to St. John the Baptist Parish deputies and remains in custody in lieu of a $15,000 bond.

Another registered sex offender, Kenneth Lee Sr. of Colony Drive in LaPlace, was sentenced Oct. 21 to six years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements.