Authorities have announced arrests in "Operation Valor," a joint effort by law enforcement agencies in Onslow and Pender Counties to make sure registered sex offenders are in compliance with state guidelines.
The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force held a news conference in Jacksonville Friday to announce the following arrests:
-Stephen Craig Gentry, 31, of Holly Ridge, was arrested in Onslow County for a probation violation, investigators said. During a search of his residence, officers found evidence of child pornography and additional charges may be brought against Gentry, according to authorities.
-Christopher Carroll was arrested in Jacksonville for allegedly harboring a sex offender, said investigators.
-Roy Lee Spicer, 51 --who was supposed to be living in Onslow County-- was arrested in Allegheny County, Pa., and is charged with failure to notify of change of address, officials said. Spicer is required to register as a sex offender based on a 1994 conviction for indecent liberties with a minor. The U.S. Marshals in the Western District of Pennsylvania have also initiated an investigation seeking to charge Spicer with a violation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
The Onslow County Sheriff's Office said deputies arrested two other sex offenders in the county. Details on them have not been released.
Arrests were also made in Pender County. They include:
-Vernon Eric Spencer, 44, was arrested in Pender County on charges of possession with intent to sell/deliver counterfeit controlled substance, felony probation violation, and driving while impaired.
-Lee Evan Ennis, 32, was arrested in Pender County for a felony probation violation, according to investigators. Officers said they found small quantities of cocaine and marijuana on Ennis when he was arrested.
Operation Valor began at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. About 70 law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals, Onslow County Sheriff's Office, Pender County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina Department of Public Safety/Division of Adult Supervision, Jacksonville Police Department, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service set out to verify that all registered sex offenders in those counties were in compliance with North Carolina guidelines.
"The goal of Operation Valor is to send a clear message to sex offenders that officials are present and active in their communities and committed to ensuring that the children of Onslow and Pender Counties are protected from registered sex offenders," said U.S. Marshal Scott J. Parker.
There are about 355 sex offenders in Onslow and Pender Counties that are compliant with state regulations, said investigators.
Operation Valor is the first of its kind in this area of the state, the U.S. Marshals said.