Tyrone Turner's little girl poked her braided head around a corner.
"Would you like to stay in your room and watch TV, honey?" parole agent Craig Donnahoe asked the girl.
It was Thursday night. Her dad was in handcuffs.
Her mother's computer was pulled from its power cords and placed on the sidewalk outside their rundown apartment where sheets double as curtains and where Turner's little girl announces without surprise that a cockroach has run into the kitchen.
Turner, 48, a convicted sexual batterer, isn't allowed to have Internet at his home. He's not allowed to have alcohol either, even though his wife reported the bottle of gin was hers alone.
These items sent Tyrone to jail Thursday night on an alleged parole violation. A court hearing will later determine if he's guilty.
He shook his head. The Internet was hooked up two days ago so his daughter could do her homework.
"It come to mind," Turner said of the parole agreement he signed prohibiting him from having Internet access in his home. "But all she does is her homework on it. I'm not even on the Internet."
That didn't matter to the officers searching his home. Turner will get a chance to make his case at the hearing. There is zero tolerance for sexual offenders who are in violation of their parole conditions. Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Roseman explained it's better to have sexual offenders live in fear that seemingly small violations could send them back to prison rather than leave them unmonitored where they could fall victim to their addictions and end up reoffending.
Two convicted child molesters live within 300 feet of Turner's apartment; a plastic tricycle, a teeter-totter and a chalk hopscotch outline were within view of their windows.
That section of the county, a few miles from the city line, is "all one big red dot" on the Megan's Law sex offender registry, Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Nichol Ramos said. Offenders congregate here because it's surrounded by fields. There are no parks or schools from which sex offender registrants must keep a distance.
More than 50 officers from Merced Police Department, the county sheriff's office, California Highway Patrol, Child Protective Services, the District Attorney's Office, the U.S. Marshal's Office and state parole offices knocked on doors throughout the county Thursday night as part of a multiunit sweep to determine if any sex offenders were out of compliance with their parole conditions.
They visited 70 offenders who are required to register with law enforcement agencies and submit to parole searches. Twenty were arrested on a variety of parole violations, ranging from having toys or objects that could be used to lure children, possessing knives, switchblades, ammunition and other weapons, as well as possessing pornography or alcohol.
A common theme of the sweeps was that all the violations occurred just recently.
Turner had just hooked up the Internet. A man wanted on a misdemeanor warrant out of Las Vegas had just that day unloaded his pockets of several knives and brought a sleeve of porn CDs into William Caton's home. Caton, 53, on parole since 2006 for lewd and lascivious acts using a firearm and for lewd acts on a child under age 14, has been violated many times back to prison for possessing alcohol, weapons and porn, parole agents said.
Manuel Viera Jr.'s girlfriend said she had just that day developed film of her granddaughter, a toddler, and laid them out on the sex offender's bed to look at when sheriff's deputies knocked on the door.
Danny Kuesis, 45, had just moved into his Kibby Road apartment with his girlfriend. He said he didn't realize the tic-tac-toe games, Winnie the Pooh stickers, science lab kit, porn CDs, half-bottle of Bacardi or a purple stuffed bunny hanging over his bed would be a problem. His girlfriend swore her granddaughter hadn't been there. A bowl of moldy Cocoa Puffs rotted in the refrigerator.
"You can't give me a break?" Kuesis asked, fidgeting in handcuffs on the couch, a GPS bracelet still strapped to his ankle.
Looking at his paperwork, Parole Agent Donnahoe replied, "There are no breaks for this."
Reporter Amy Starnes can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.