Press-Republican

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May 20, 2010

Three sex offenders facing charges after roundup

ELIZABETHTOWN — A check of all registered sex offenders in Essex County launched last week resulted in three arrests, including one tied to alleged possession of child-pornography.

Kevin C. Smurphat, 21, of Keeseville was taken into custody on a charge of violation for probation, according to Major David Reynolds, chief deputy of the Essex County Sheriff's Department.

Smurphat, a level 1 sex offender, was questioned and reportedly admitted to possessing child pornography on a computer located by deputies.

The computer was seized and turned over to the United States Marshall Service for further analysis.

Additional child pornography was discovered during the investigation, Reynolds said, and additional charges against Smurphat are pending.

"The (violation of probation) is a precursory charge," Reynolds said.

Smurphat was sent to Essex County Jail, where he was still being held without bail Wednesday night.

Shelly L. Flora, 42, of Keeseville was taken into custody on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender, which is a felony.

Flora, a level 2 sex offender, is required to update her address within 10 days of moving. Police allege that she moved from a Keeseville residence on May 1 and failed to update her address within the required time frame.

In 1994, Flora was convicted of raping a 14-year-old boy and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and was sentenced to two to four years in prison. She was also previously convicted in 2004 of two counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

After her recent arrest, Flora was sent to Essex County Jail and was released Monday.

Also arrested in the roundup was Daniel R. Nelson, 38, of Keeseville. Nelson, a level 1 sex offender, was charged with failure to register as a sex offender for allegedly moving from a Keeseville residence to Lyon Mountain on April 27 and not updating his address within the required 10-day period.

Nelson was sent to Essex County Jail without bail. He is scheduled to appear in Town of Chesterfield Court on May 24.

A fourth arrest is pending, according to Reynolds, who is adamant that the public needs to take a more active role in helping law-enforcement's efforts to keep track of all registered sex offenders.

The May 13 check, which involved going to the door of every sex offender in the county, was conducted in conjunction with the Ticonderoga Police Department, the Lake Placid Police Department, the Moriah Police Department and the United States Marshall Service, Reynolds said.

He said each county conducts similar checks, often on an ongoing basis. This particular effort, he pointed out, encompassed verifying the addresses of all 105 sex offenders in the county.

The Essex County Sheriff's Department is encouraging the public to report any sex offenders believed to have moved to an area without reporting the change of address.

"We don't get as many calls from the public as we should," Reynolds said. "If you're not sure, it doesn't hurt to call."

To contact the Sheriff's Department, call 873-6902.

To find out if a level 2 or 3 sex offender is living in a particular area of the state, visit http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/nsor/index.htm.

You can also search for sex offenders throughout the entire country at www.nsopr.gov.

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