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December 10, 2023

Man arrested on Halloween following sex-offender compliance check

Along with spreading cobwebs and stocking up on candy bars, one annual Halloween tradition is the annual tour Scott Valley Police Department officers take to the houses of sex offenders in the weeks before kids head out trick-or-treating.

It gives officers the chance to make sure the people they keep track of are following the rules set out by the court, and to remind them to make a different kind of preparation for Oct. 31.

“We also encourage them to not decorate for Halloween and pass out candy,” said Det. Sgt. Meredith Roberts. “They usually just turn their lights off or leave.”

SVPD says officers were able to make contact with the “majority” of people in the registry.

During the compliance rounds, one man in his 40s was found to have “items” he was prohibited from possessing.

On the evening of Oct. 26, multiple police officers conducted the probation search at the residence of Benjamin Russo in the northern part of Scotts Valley.

Police say it wasn’t child porn, drugs or candy, but it was something he wasn’t allowed to have nonetheless.

And so, on Halloween, officers returned and arrested Russo for a probation violation.

Drew Penner
Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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