On Friday, October 4, the Montana Department of Justice and the Great Falls Police Department announced the results of a joint operation to locate unregistered violent or sexual offenders.

Deputy Communications Director for Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Anastasia Burton, said the roundup was for the purpose of making sure those violent and sexual offenders complied with the law.

"Currently in Great Falls, there are 521 active violent and sexual offenders," Burton said. "There are 90 who were non compliant, and of them, 52 were found. So, now they are in compliance. We are going to conduct similar sweeps and searches in other areas as well."

Burton said those who have been convicted of violent or sexual offenses are required by law to register in the city in which they live, and to re-register whenever they move.

"There are always a variety of reasons given as to why they don't register, but the bottom line is failure to register means they are in non-compliance," Burton said. "Warrants were issued for them, and now they are in compliance."

Burton said it's important for residents of any city or neighborhood to be aware of individuals who are violent or sexual offenders, and report them if they are unregistered.

"We're encouraging people who might notice people who are on our violent or sexual offender registry who are non-compliant to contact law enforcement," Burton said. "A warrant will be issued and local law enforcement will track them down. We also encourage people to visit our sexual or violent offender website, and you can check out your local neighborhood. If you're considering moving, you can also check out the registry to see if there are offenders living in the area."

According to the Missoula County Attorney's office, Montana law states that failure to register as a violent or sexual offender could result in a prison term of as much as five years.

Deputy Communications Director for Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, Anastasia Burton