More than 700 suspected child sex abusers arrested in warrant sweep

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A crackdown on child sex abusers out on warrants in the metro area saw more than 700 offenders arrested over a two week period.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office ran a warrant sweep between Jan. 29 and Feb. 15, urging anyone with active warrants for suspected child sex abuse offenses to hand themselves in.

According to a news release, the sheriff's office – which worked with 21 other enforcement agencies across the Twin Cities metro in the blitz – satisfied 1,443 warrants, of which 738 results in people being arrested.

The rest were cleared in other ways, the sheriff's office said, including by voluntary surrender.

"I am proud of all the officers involved," Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "Their work sends a clear message to child sex offenders: the law enforcement community in Hennepin County will track you down and arrest you so the criminal justice system can hold you accountable for your heinous crimes."

Among the groups assisting with the crackdown was child protection advocacy group CornerHouse, which helped draw public attention to the sweep.

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office told BringMeTheNews that the county currently has 20,984 active warrants.

ABC News reported last year the FBI's National Crime Information Center had more than 789,000 outstanding warrants for felonies and serious misdemeanors on its system, but says that the actual number for active warrants in the United States is much higher.

A study by the University of Minnesota found that sex offenders make up the largest single group of inmates (20.5 percent) in Minnesota's adult and juvenile correctional facilities.

The Star Tribune reports that in 2013, there were 2,418 child sexual-abuse allegations in Minnesota. The newspaper said that 30 percent of child protection reports submitted to Hennepin County are allegations of sexual abuse.

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