Thursday, July 7, 2005

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Attorney General Abbott Nabs Nine Sex Offenders In San Antonio Area Sweep

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced his Fugitive Unit arrested nine San Antonio area sex offenders during a recent sweep. Seven of those arrested had failed to register with local law enforcement; two had violated the terms of their parole.

The seven unregistered sex offender arrests bring to 16 the total number of arrests made during Operation Missing Predator, a statewide initiative launched in April by Attorney General Abbott to locate and arrest convicted sex offenders who are not registered.

Unregistered Sex Offenders
Francisco Barrios Jr.
Francisco Barrios Jr.
Jose Bernal, Jr.
Jose Bernal, Jr.
James Coleman
James Coleman
Larry Hunt
Larry Hunt
Donald Mickish
Donald Mickish
Johnny Perez
Johnny Perez
Daniel Romo
Daniel Romo

Parole Violators
Ruben Salazar
Ruben Salazar
Lloyd Jackson
Lloyd Jackson

“Texans have a right to know if a sex offender lives in their community,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Operation Missing Predator aims to make our streets safer by putting behind bars those convicted sex offenders who are ignoring their responsibility to register with local police or the sheriff’s department. These arrests move us closer to that goal.”

One of the seven, Donald Lee Mickish, 56, had been wanted since July 2004 for failing to register as a sex offender in Bexar County. After receiving a tip that Mickish might be living in a motel in Kaysville, Utah, investigators with the Fugitive Unit contacted local police officers, who arrested him on June 27. In 1998, Mickish was convicted in Concord, N.H., of felonious sexual assault against an 11-year-old girl. After being released from prison, he registered as a sex offender with the San Antonio Police Department. However, a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to maintain his registration.

The Fugitive Unit also arrested parole violators Lloyd Jackson, 56, and Ruben Salazar,31. Jackson, who was arrested on June 29, had been a fugitive since April 21. He was convicted in 1969 in Harris County of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and was sentenced to life in prison. Salazar, who was arrested on July 1, was sentenced in 1992 to 10 years in prison after being convicted in Bexar County of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female. He had been a fugitive since June 20, 2005.

Information on the other six unregistered sex offender arrests, which were conducted with help from the San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, is as follows:

James Wesley Coleman, 29
Date and county where arrested: June 28 in Bexar County
Background: In 1995, Coleman was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted in Bexar County of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old female. He was released from prison in May 2001 but has been wanted since March of this year for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

Daniel Romo, 39
Date and county where arrested: June 28 in Bexar County
Background: Romo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1992 after being convicted in Bexar County of aggravated sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl. He had been wanted since June 1, 2005, for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

Francisco Barrios, Jr., 35
Date and county where arrested: June 28 in Medina County
Background: In 1994, he was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted in Bexar County of sexually assaulting a 35-year-old female. He turned himself in to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office after learning Fugitive Unit investigators and other area officers had been searching for him earlier in the day. Barrios was wanted since July 20, 2004, for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

Jose Guadalupe Bernal, Jr., 34
Date and county where arrested: June 29 in Bexar County
Background: He was convicted in 1992 of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in Florida and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was released in February 2001 and was wanted since June 7, 2005, for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

Larry James Hunt, 48
Date and county where arrested: June 29 in Bexar County
Background: In 1997, he was sentenced to five years in prison in Bexar County after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 33-year-old female. He was wanted since Aug. 9, 2002, for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

Johnny Perez, 22
Date and county where arrested: June 30 in Bexar County
Background: In 1998, Perez was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 4-year-old boy. He had been wanted since May 17, 2004, for failing to maintain his sex offender registration.

The offenders being sought by Operation Missing Predator were released from prison after serving their sentences, and have no other condition attached to their release except to register as a sex offender. It is unclear how many unregistered sex offenders there are in Texas. As part of Operation Missing Predator, Fugitive Unit investigators are reviewing the names of offenders released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to identify those who have not registered.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration. His Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units have arrested more than 260 child sex predators since he created the units in 2003. Cyber Crimes investigators assume the identity of underage teens in Internet chat rooms, which often leads to predators soliciting them for sex and then attempting to meet them.