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Four arrested during sex offender check in eastern North Carolina

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Aug 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-23 21:49:08-04

Manteo, N.C. – Four men were arrested this week during a law enforcement check of sex offenders in four eastern North Carolina counties.

The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force, in conjunction with various state and local agencies, conducted Operation Pharos in Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington Counties beginning early Tuesday morning.

From top left, clockwise: Gregory Richardson, Eric Sykes, Martin Hardy and Marcus Shaw.

Law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals, the Sheriff’s Offices of the effected counties, the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections, and the Plymouth Police Department set out to verify that all registered sex offenders in the counties were in compliance with North Carolina guidelines.

By the end of the operation Wednesday, authorities had visited the homes of each of the 95 registered sex offenders in the selected counties.

The four men arrested face a variety of charges. Three firearms were seized in the sweep.

Additional arrests are possible as a result of on-going investigations in the four counties.

49-year-old Gregory Todd Richardson of Duck, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with failing to report a change of address-sex offender.

41-year-old Eric Sykes of Columbia, was charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

40-year-old Marcus Shaw of Engelhard, was arrested on an outstanding order for arrest for failing to pay child support out of Chowan County.

29-year-old Martin L. Hardy, Jr., of Manteo, was arrested on an outstanding order for arrest based on an indictment for forgery of an instrument and uttering forged instrument.

This operation is the first of its kind to be conducted in these counties, and follows the successful conclusion of other such operations sponsored by the U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

“Operation Pharos has sent a loud and clear message to the violent criminals and sex offenders throughout the counties of Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington” stated Scott J. Parker, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina. “The message that was sent out by the United States Marshals Service and the other agencies involved is that working collaboratively, we will utilize all resources available to seek out individuals attempting to avoid prosecution and we will work tirelessly to ensure that the community and the children of the community are safe from sex offenders.”

J.D. “Doug” Doughtie, Sheriff of Dare County, said “One of the most important tasks assigned to the Sheriff is the registration and monitoring of convicted sex offenders. In Dare County, we take this task seriously. We have an investigator that monitors the registered sex offenders on a daily basis, making sure that we have accurate records of their places of residence, and other things required by statute. We periodically conduct surprise visits and compliance checks. We were fortunate to have the assistance of U.S. Marshal Scott Parker, several of his Deputy U.S. Marshals, N.C. Probation Officers and local officers in conducting this week’s compliance operation. When Law Enforcement agencies can work together, the public benefits. I want to thank Marshal Parker and all of the various agencies that participated in this important operation.”

“The Hyde County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the opportunity to work with the U.S. Marshals Service in conjunction with N.C. Probation and Parole in Operation Pharos,” said Sheriff David Mason.

“This operation was successful,” said Tyrrell County Sheriff Darryl Liverman. “It was a great example of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies working together to protect the citizens in the four county area and across North Carolina.”