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15 sex offenders missing

The whereabouts of five high-risk sex offenders required to register in North Dakota are unknown to police, including two who had been living in Fargo.

The whereabouts of five high-risk sex offenders required to register in North Dakota are unknown to police, including two who had been living in Fargo.

In Minnesota, 10 Level 3 sex offenders, deemed most likely to re-offend, may have fallen from the radar screens of officials tracking them.

In many cases, arrest warrants have been issued, a strategy that often results in eventual capture through things like traffic stops, according to Jon Byers, an assistant North Dakota attorney general.

Offenders are also found through information gathered from interviews with friends, relatives, co-workers and landlords, Byers said.

A high-risk sex offender sought by Stutsman County, N.D., officials for failing to register was arrested in Fargo on July 1.


Fargo police arrested Ronald Steven Rodriguez, 40, after learning Rodriguez was working in the area, Lt. Tod Dahle said.

Rodriguez was transported to Jamestown, N.D., and bonded out of jail July 5 after posting $500 cash, according to Stutsman County Court records.

The records indicate his address is now Pelican Lake in Minnesota's Otter Tail County.

Active warrants were in place July 2 when Joseph Edward Duncan III, a high-risk offender living in Fargo, was found in Idaho with missing 8-year-old Shasta Groene.

Duncan faces first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder in the abduction of Groene and her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, and the bludgeoning deaths of the children's mother, 13-year-old brother and the mother's boyfriend. If convicted, Duncan could face the death penalty.

There are 116 registered sex offenders incarcerated in the state, while another 764 are not behind bars, the North Dakota Attorney General's Office says.

Thirty-eight offenders are not living at the address police have on file, Byers said. North Dakota's delinquency rate is approximately 4 percent, one of the lowest in the nation, he said.

Of the 38 delinquent offenders, seven are considered a high risk to re-offend, nine are deemed moderate risk and nine are low risk, Byers said. The others are not ranked.


According to the Attorney General's Office, the five high-risk offenders and their last known North Dakota addresses are:

- Ian Chase Redwolf Allery, 21, Belcourt

- Dustin Miles Besler, 23, Williston

- Jules James Usesmany, 30, Bismarck

- Pete Mendoza Benavidez, 41, Fargo

- Justin David Worcester, 21, Fargo

The Attorney General's Office also counts Rodriguez and Duncan as delinquent. The agency lists Rodriguez's last known residence as Fargo.

In Minnesota, there are 16,504 people in its sex offender database, and 13,950 are active cases.


A total of 1,584 offenders, about 11 percent of the active cases, are not in compliance with the state's registration law, according to AnnMarie O'Neill, senior program administrator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Of the noncompliant offenders, about 750 did not return a letter asking for address confirmation and police are trying to determine whether they've absconded, O'Neill said.

The remaining offenders did not tell police when they left their last known address, O'Neill said.

Ten of the offenders considered to be noncompliant are rated at high-risk for offending again, O'Neill said.

State records show those individuals had addresses in the Twin Cities or lived out-of-state and were required to remain registered in Minnesota.

Last year, in a move unusual in its scope, the Moorhead Police Department asked for the public's help in locating eight convicted sex offenders charged with failing to keep police notified of their whereabouts.

The effort paid off, according to Lt. Robert Larson.

"We got 'em all," Larson said, stating tips from the public led police to some of the individuals.


Fargo police also rely on tips, according to Sgt. Joel Vettel, who said "old-fashioned groundwork" and identifying habits are often key to finding offenders.

"They tend to not break their traditional habits," Vettel said. "They usually hang out in the same type of places and hang out with the same people."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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