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Salt Lake City Police arrest 21 sex offenders

A self-described registered sex offender says Utah doesn't restrict where he can live -- but it's been impossible to find someone willing to sell him a house. (Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY  — The Salt Lake City Police Department has been busy for the past four months checking in on a number of registered sex offenders, and, making a number of arrests.

Their efforts resulted in 83 compliance checks, 59 residence checks and perhaps most notably, 21 arrests.

Detective Michael Ruff says  only a small percentage of sex offenders in general are failing to report information.

“Most of our people are compliant, but there were 21 individuals who we found were out of compliance and were arrested and booked into jail for violating the rules that they are given when they are put onto the sex offender registry,” he explains.

The department has one full-time officer who conducts interviews four days a week. But police were able to expand their efforts from June 21 to September 27, 2019, after receiving some recent grant money.

A major part of the operation is tracking down sex offenders new to the state.

“They’re supposed to tell us, hey, we’re moving, I’m coming to Utah from another state,” explains Detective Ruff.

That information should be relayed to the police within a week of moving to the state.

“They have a seven-day window to register with our police department once they move,” he said. “So if that person doesn’t do that, they’re in violation.”

Additionally, an offender moving within Utah’s boundaries has only three days to report their new residency.

Salt Lake City Police didn’t provide statistics outlining the violations making up the 21 arrests, but say that a failure to report new residency made up a majority.

Other common violations can include failure to provide a valid state ID or accurate vehicle information.