New California law enforcement team targets paroled sex offenders after high-profile lapses

DON THOMPSON (Associated Press) | November 19, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Michael Harden problems were just beginning when agents rolled up to his cluttered trailer to arrest him for letting the battery in his GPS ankle bracelet run low, making it difficult to track the movements of the paroled child molester.

Then the agents found something even more disturbing: graphically sexual photographs on his cell phone. Seven months after he left prison, the 44-year-old Sacramento man was on his way back.

He was one of more than 285 paroled sex offenders swept up throughout California this week by recently formed law enforcement teams, which were created partly as a response to agents fumbling their attempt to monitor paroled sex offender Phillip Garrido.

Garrido is charged with kidnapping an 11-year-old girl, Jaycee Lee Dugard, and hiding her from parole agents for 18 years in a fenced-off area in the backyard of his Antioch home, where she bore two of his children.

The teams are designed to apprehend parolees who have become fugitives or are otherwise violating terms of their release.

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