As part of the investigation, officers in the Investigative Division checked residences and found there were five sex offenders who are now considered absconders for moving from their registered address without notifying the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, as is required by law,
Warrants have been issued for failure to register for the five following offenders: Isotta Dewberry, Keith Head, Charles Thornton, Edward Whitner, and Reginald Brassell, who is also wanted for violation of probation. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these sex offenders is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 770-227-9406.
According to the state Sex Offender Registry, Brassell was convicted of child molestation Nov. 20, 1992; Dewberry was convicted of enticing a child for indecent purposes Oct. 7, 2005; Head was convicted of statutory rape Sept. 27, 1999; Thornton was convicted of rape June 30, 1993; and Whitner was convicted of child molestation Feb. 17, 2000.
Beam said there are currently 170 sex offenders within Spalding County, with most being on probation or parole. A joint operation conducted by the Investigative Division of the Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and State Parole and Probation was conducted in Spalding County on Oct. 12-13 to check the 20 offenders who have search clauses as part of their probation or parole for any violations.
At the end of the two-day investigation five offenders were found to have violated their parole or probation for various reasons, Beam said, mainly for being in possession of images of nudity on cell phones or computers. A team of forensic investigators with the GBI conducted the audits of all phones and computers, iPods, iPads, Game Boys, Wiis and XBoxes.
This investigation resulted in the arrest of the following five sex offenders for violation of probation: Zachary Steven Thompson, 1578 Patterson Road Lot 52; Jamarcus Deon Sladen, 534 N. Hill St.; Jason Chadwick Ford, 1913 Bonnie Ridge Road; Charles Patrick Flippen, 2865 Steele Road; and Lemuel Joseph Downs, 61 Pickens Drive.
According to the state Sex Offender Registry, Downs was originally convicted of child molestation Oct. 6, 2000; Flippen was convicted of sexual battery Sept. 3, 2008; Ford was convicted of pimping a minor Dec. 20, 2002; and Sladen was convicted of sexual battery Oct. 7, 2008. Information about Thompson could not be located on the state registry.
The second portion of the investigation was conducted on Oct. 20 by the Investigative Division, which targeted the remaining 150 sex offenders who are required by state law to register and at the time of registration provide a current address. Beam said the offender must physically reside at the residence listed and if he or she does not or is found to have moved the individual is considered an absconder under the sex offender laws.
This check resulted in warrants being issued for the five now wanted for failure to register.
Beam said that investigators will continue to have these types of operations in order to keep track of and know where all the registered sex offenders are living in the county and to remain in compliance with the laws of the state of Georgia.