NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An undercover operation targeting area sex offenders net 13 arrests in a sting on Halloween.
Operation Boo Dat commenced Oct. 23 with teams of deputy U.S. marshals and local and state law enforcement partners conducting sex offender compliance checks and arresting fugitive sex offenders in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
This operation focused on ensuring sex offenders comply with legislative requirements and guidelines that mandate they register with law enforcement agencies, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Marshals .
During these checks, officials ensured sex offenders were not participating in Halloween activities such as decorating their homes, dressing up in costumes, or handing out candy.
Approximately 90 home compliance checks were conducted and 13 fugitive sex offenders were arrested or located.
One of those arrested was Chad Blair Downing, a sex offender convicted in 2001 of forcible rape of a child.
The victim was an 8-year-old female, according to the U.S. Marshals.
Downing was released from LA DOC custody in February of 2015.
Downing was arrested in New Orleans City Park with assistance of information obtained through Crimestoppers GNO.
According to the report, he was in possession of 31 pieces of a substance believed to be crack cocaine at the time of his arrest.
Another sex offender, John Major, was also arrested during the operation.
According to the report, he has at least three prior sex-based convictions in the New Orleans metro area.
He was convicted in 1992 of two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He was again convicted in 2008 of molestation of a juvenile and attempted aggravated rape. One of his victims was an 11-year-old female.
A traffic stop in the French Quarter Halloween night resulted in the arrest of a sex offender covered with face paint to the point that he was not recognizable – a violation of his compliance restrictions.
State police took appropriate action at the time and the matter is under further investigation by LSP for possible registry violations.
Operation Boo Dat concluded November 4th and was a multi-jurisdiction effort consisting of the US Marshals Service New Orleans Fugitive Task Force, New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana State Probation and Parole, and Crimestoppers Greater New Orleans.