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'Operation Safe Treat' lands one man in jail for child porn on Halloween

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

'Operation Safe Treat' lands one man in jail for child porn on Halloween

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Oct 31, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Children in costumes scattered across Pima County Thursday night looking for candy. But they weren't the only ones knocking on doors.

"It's a fun time of the year," said one Tucson parent. "Everyone loves Halloween. The chance to dress up and be something you want to be and have fun for one night."

But law enforcement knows Halloween has a dark side. They know it by another name.

"The sex offender holiday," said Barbara Johnson, who heads the Pima County Sex Offender Probation Unit.

It's why U.S. Marshals and probation officers hit the streets.

"We want to make sure they're safe and can enjoy being a kid," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Daniel Leyva.

On Halloween night, 30 to 40 officers checked up on almost 100 sex offenders. They show up, knock on the door, walk in, look around and ask tough questions to ensure they're compliant and your kids aren't at risk.

"There are a lot of kids in costume and a lot of potential offenders out there in costume, so we take very seriously our mission," said Johnson.

And the mission can be risky.

"You're also going into people's homes, so you never know what to expect," said Leyva.

9OYS cameras captured some being more cooperative than others.

"This gentleman wasn't very happy we searched his wallet," said David Sanders, Pima County's Chief Probation Officer. "But he's probably lucky we didn't search his house."

At the end of the night, probation officers want to see an uninviting home. No lights. No Halloween decorations. No candy. Nothing that could invite a child to the door.

"There's always a few that tend to push limits a little bit," said Leyva.

Operation Safe Treat netted one arrest Thursday night after authorities found child porn on a man's cell phone.