Warwick, RI – US Marshals arrested a Warwick Level III sex offender Friday who had been traveling without registering to California, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania since Sept. 19, when he was notified state law required him to move out of his Namquid Drive home, a short walk from John Brown Francis Elementary School.
Byron Deweldon, 45, has been ordered detained in federal custody on a criminal complaint charging him with failing to register as a sex offender, in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), according to a release from United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Marshal Jamie A. Hainsworth and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.
According to court records, Deweldon was convicted in May 1995 in Rhode Island Superior Court on three counts of second degree molestation; in May 1995, in Massachusetts, of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14; in Rhode Island state court in April 2004, of third degree sexual assault; and in 2008, Deweldon was civilly committed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a danger to the public.
Deweldon had been living as a registered sex offender in Warwick with his mother since his release from prison on Dec. 18, 2014.
On Sept. 17 of this year, Deweldon acknowledged he’d been notified of RI’s new 300/1,000 foot law, making it a federal offense for any Level III sex offender to live within 1,000 feet of a school. Deweldon’s Warwick home is a three-minute walk to John Brown Francis Elementary School.
Deweldon began his national travel the next day, according to the affidavit. All of the states he traveled to have Sex Offender registry statutes, which required him to also register as a sex offender in those jurisdictions as he traveled, which he failed to do, according to the US Department of Justice.
On Oct. 4, during a residence verification visit to his Warwick home, Deweldon’s mother told officers he hadn’t lived there for about a month, had been traveling to California, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania, and was likely, “down south.”
While officers were speaking with his mother,Deweldon called her and spoke with the police, according to the affidavit. He told them he’d left the Warwick house when he’d been notified of the 300/1,000 foot law.
Members of the U.S. Marshal’s SORNA Task Force, the U.S. Marshals and the Warwick Police Department arrested Deweldon when he returned to Rhode Island Oct. 16.
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