Rowan County conducts sex offender sweeps, take out eight warrants

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 4, 2023

Warrants were issued for eight registered sex offenders for failing to comply with notification requirements, after the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office conducted a county-wide sweep.

There are approximately 430 registered sex offenders living in the county. Of those offenders, some are homeless. Some live at a residence, assisted living facilities or the county detention center.

In early March, Sheriff Travis Allen requested that the Criminal Investigations Division physically check on each of those offenders to verify their place of residence with the goal of having the list updated before the summer.

The sheriff’s office has one full-time detective that is assigned to sex offender registration, along with one part-time secretary that assists with these duties.

A detective assigned to the unit drafted check forms for each offender and distributed them to several different divisions within the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Apprehension Team (SOCAT), patrol, civil and criminal investigations unit were involved in performing this task. They checked over 300 sex offenders in the first several weeks. Other divisions checked on the rest.

If an offender was found to be in violation, the detective followed up with that offender and charged them accordingly. The following charges were filed during this time.

Warrants for failure to report a new address were issued for Brian Harold Cooper, Scott Krimminger, Allen Wayne Fleming, Eric Lane Hampton and Charles Gilbert Gillespie. Those warrants remain active.

Three individuals, James William McKeena, Devin Shaughn Gaither and Joseph D. Ridley, were arrested and charged with failure to report new addresses.

The numbers charged were much lower than expected, but more charges may be pending.

N.C. law does not require the sheriff’s office to do physical checks on sex offenders but does give the sheriff the option to do them if he wishes. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office tries to physically check each sex offender at their residence at least once a year.