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Parole sweep nets 6

Suspects were released under state’s prison realignment program

Posted: April 19, 2012 9:16 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2012 9:16 p.m.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies assigned to the department Parole Compliance Team, discuss their approach to a sweep of the Santa Clarita Valley for parolees.

 

Sheriff’s deputies surprised 14 Santa Clarita Valley parolees Thursday released from prison under the state’s “realignment plan” and arrested six of them for parole violations.

“Four were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, one was arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon, and one was arrested on an ammunition charge,” said Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker.

Becker described the dangerous weapon as a “killing knife.”

A seventh man was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a prior cocaine possession charge, Becker said.

“He happened to be at the home of one of the parolees the deputies were checking on,” he said.

A bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in April 2011 realigned the state’s correctional system by moving responsibilities for lower-level offenders, adult parolees and juvenile offenders from state to local jurisdictions.

About 50 parolees released under the realignment live in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Sgt. Justin Diez, one of almost 60 deputies who took part in the sweep.

“Our state is releasing these individuals into our communities,” Becker said. “Local law enforcement has got to put measures in place to protect our citizens.”

Diez said the 50 parolees’ names were selected randomly by a computer to identify the 14 homes that would be visited by deputies during the Thursday morning sweep.

Those arrested were all men, said Diez, a member of the Parole Compliance Team.

The sweeps were conducted between 7 a.m. and noon Thursday.

Parole checks are a tool the Sheriff’s Department uses to keep the crime rate low in Santa Clarita, Becker said.

The purpose of the checks isn’t just rounding up violators, but also helping parolees who need support, the captain said.

“If they’re in compliance we make sure they have access to resources to get the help they need,” he said. “We’re simply working to curb recidivism.”

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