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Behind the scenes with U.S. marshals, Nye sheriff

A law enforcement team, made up of local police agencies in Nevada and federal authorities, swept across Pahrump and surrounding areas that included seeking fugitives and conducting a large string of sex offender compliance checks.

The U.S. Marshals Service-led operation involving teaming up with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and K-9 units from Boulder City as part of a statewide effort by local, state and federal authorities to track down fugitives and conduct sex offender compliance checks, along with gang enforcement.

A roughly two-week-long initiative dubbed “Operation Silver STAR (Strategically Targeted Apprehension Response)” led to the arrest of more than 110 people and hundreds of sex offender compliance checks in Nevada, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to federal authorities from the Marshals Service, more than 200 sex offender compliance checks were executed in the region during “Operation Silver STAR.”

The Nye County operation also led to the arrest of Christopher Pallotti on suspicion of credit card fraud, the Marshals Service said. Pallotti was also a person of interest in a homicide investigation related to the fraud allegations, according to the news release from the U.S. Marshals Service on April 19.

The local operation went on from April 8-18 and involved several Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives and other law enforcement. Overall, a total of 34 people were arrested with outstanding warrants in Nye County during the operation with 19 of those being sex offender violations, according to a video release from the sheriff’s office.

In addition to the arrests made related to warrants, three arrests were made on new cases in Beatty and Pahrump as a result of Operation Silver STAR, according to a video release from the sheriff’s office.

Across the state, more than 1,000 sex offender compliance checks were executed as part of the operations that involved 23 state, local and federal agencies, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service. The operation also led to the seizure of nine firearms and various narcotics.

Nicholas Trutanich, U.S. attorney for Nevada said he was “grateful for the commitment and partnerships of local and state law enforcement represented here today. Each of them played a critical role in this public safety operation…” during a news conference at the U.S. attorney’s office in Las Vegas on April 19.

During that news conference, U.S. Marshal for the District of Nevada Gary Schofield said the operation was throughout the state with an emphasis on Washoe, Elko, Clark and Nye counties.

Schofield said that 1,039 sex offender compliance checks were made during the operation, where 828 were in compliance. He added that 90 were out of compliance, with 115 of them that couldn’t be verified as living at the location where they are registered.

“So what we do, working in concert with local law enforcement, is leave notes for them to contact us,” Schofield said. “If they don’t within a certain period of time, we’ll do some follow-up investigation.”

Schofield was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2018 as the U.S. Marshal for the District of Nevada. This is the second type of large-scale operation to take place in the state in the last several months. An “Operation Silver STAR” was conducted in the fall of 2018. According to Schofield, future operations across the state are in the planning stages.

Reporter Jeffrey Meehan participated in a ridealong with authorities for this story.

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