Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Name:
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sexual Predators: Beta Testers for Homeland Security?

If we can't track the movements of identified predatory sexual offenders after they have been released from prison, how can we ever hope to track unknown terrorists inside our borders?

On Thursday, July 21, 2005, The Spokesman Review online ran a "breaking news" story headlined Warrant issued for girl's father.

The story reports that John Rollins Tuggle was released from a Colorado prison after serving time for rape. It does not report if Tuggle completed his prison term or was released on parole. Neither does the story indicate if Tuggle had registered as a sex offender.

The Spokesman Review story recounts how Tuggle came to Idaho and picked up his daughter, ostensibly to take her camping. The girl was later found in Shoshone County, Idaho, suffering from multiple stab wounds. She survived, was found by other campers, and has been hospitalized. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of her father, John Rollins Tuggle.

This morning about 8:30 a.m. I checked the online sex offender registries for Colorado and Idaho along with the much-touted nationwide National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR). Currently 22 states participate in NSOPR. John Rollins Tuggle was not listed in any of the registries.

Why not?

Tuggle was released from a Colorado prison after serving time for rape. Surely Colorado would have registered him before releasing him. Did Colorado notify the rape victim and Tuggle's family when he was about to be released? Were there no-contact orders in place to prevent Tuggle from having any contact with either the rape victim or certain family members? Was the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department notified that Tuggle was being released and might be enroute to see his daughter in Athol?

The National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) facilitates the types of interagency alert communications that should have occurred prior to and after Tuggle's release. But as we learned from the 9-11 Commission report, information sometimes is not passed in the most timely manner, if it is even passed at all.

Why not use the resources of the Department of Homeland Security to track predatory sex offenders and communicate information about them? Why not use the elusive unpredictability of predatory sex offenders as beta testers to see if authorities have learned from their experiences of September 11, 2001?

Tracking a sex offender ought to be easier than tracking a terrorist, because unlike terrorists, the convicted sex offender is already known to local or state governments. If authorities can't keep track of known and identified predatory sex offenders, how can they expect to identify and keep track of terrorists inside our borders?

The government is committing extensive resources for homeland security. Why not use some of them to secure the homeland from predatory sex offenders?

ADDENDUM (posted at 7:55 p.m. on 07-21-2005): An updated version of The Spokesman Review online story linked above states that Tuggle, "...was recently released from Idaho State Prison after serving nine years for rape," and, "The victim was under 18, and reportedly was his sister-in-law."

I once again ran Tuggle in the Idaho State Police online sex offender registry using his last name and date of birth (obtained from the Coeur d'Alene Press online story today). The return showed : "SEARCH RESULTS FOR ( AGE CATAGORY : ADULT - LAST NAME : - TUGGLE DOB : 01/27/1968 )
NO RECORDS FOUND MATCHING YOUR SEARCH CRITERIA"

Using the additional information from the updates Spokesman Review story, I calculated that at the time of the rape, Tuggle would have been approximately 26 years old. If the rape victim was 17 when the rape occurred, the age span would have been nine years. Of course if she was younger, the age differential would have been greater.

The Spokesman Review story also reported that Tuggle was a registered sex offender in Hayden, Colorado. Yet the Colorado Bureau of Investigation online sex offender registry does not list him. A caveat with the website explains why. "This website does not list all convicted sex offenders in Colorado, only certain high-risk registered sex offenders in the following categories: Sexually Violent Predator (SVP), Multiple Offenses, and Failed to Register."

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