Failure to register leads to 2nd arrest for convicted sex offender

Published 8:35 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

A convicted sex offender from Andalusia, caught earlier this year after he allegedly tried to shoplift from a local video store, has been sent to jail again for failing to register his address with local officials.

Roger Lynn Smith, 33, was out on probation on a prior conviction under the state’s Sex Offender Community Notification Act, when he once again entered the state without notification to local law enforcement, as required by law.

“Investigators with the Covington County Sheriff’s Office gathered information that Mr. Smith had left Alabama and returned to the state of Florida without notification and remained there for a number of weeks,” CCSO spokesman Wesley Snodgrass said. “Our newest investigator, Howard West, was able to secure a warrant for failure to provide timely and accurate address change, which is a Class ‘C’ felony.”

Smith had been convicted of the sexual offense of attempting a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16 and, as a convicted sexual offender, was required to register with state and county officials 30 days prior to taking up residency in Alabama.

Once he returned to his residence, which is located within the county’s jurisdiction, Smith was arrested by CCSO deputy Max Smith, who is of “no relation,” Snodgrass said.

Smith remains in the Covington County Jail without bond after being charged with violation of probation.

Snodgrass added that West is the newest addition to the investigation staff at the CCSO.

“Investigator West, who had previously served as a lieutenant in the patrol division, was moved to investigations in November by Sheriff Dennis Meeks,” Snodgrass said. “Inv. West is a very thorough and knowledgeable deputy with more than 10 years of experience in law enforcement, and we are pleased to have him on board.”

West’s primary duties will include working sex offender cases, sex crimes and sexual abuse cases, as well as other felony cases.