S.C. Probation officers searching for more than 5,000 wanted parolees
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
There are few who know the streets of Charleston County better than James Bingley.
He says, "I love it."
Bingley is a probation and absconder supervisor for the state. For 20 years, he's served hundreds of arrest warrants resulting in hundreds of arrests.
“I have had individuals where we have found people hiding in closets, hiding in dryers, actually in folding couches,” explains Bingley.”
His department and its 450 agents monitor about 30,000 people. They are criminals who have re-entered society.
Bigley says, “It is very dangerous because you are dealing with different people from different walks of life."
However, recent records show more than 5,100 are missing. That means an arrest warrant has been issued.
"That list goes back about 30 years,” says Peter O’Boyle with South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.
"Typically, it is someone who just quits reporting to their probation agent. They will go for a while and then they will quit, and we will go looking for them,” he explains.
Two of the missing are convicted murderers. Another 250 are domestic violence criminals and 29 are sex offenders. Keith Crum of Walterboro is one of them. The repeat offender is on South Carolina’s 10 Most Wanted List. Records show Crum cut off his GPS monitoring device in August.
"The penalty for absconding is severe and we take it very seriously,” explains O’Boyle. "Five thousand sounds like a lot, but it is not really when you put it in perspective the number of years."
Carol Houge with Darkness to Light has dedicated her life to child sexual abuse prevention. Her personal story fuels her. Houge's 6-year-old son was sexually abused by someone the family knew and trusted.
"He said mom, Mr. Bob touched me where my bathing suit covers me and you have always told me not to let anyone do that and he has been doing that,” says Houge.
The abuser was convicted. He's now a registered sex offender. Houge checks online records often- to be sure the state knows where he is. She says her heartbreaks for victims whose abuser is missing.
"You want to make sure that the individual is doing the things that the court has ordered and mandated them to do,” says Houge. "When those things don’t happen – you feel let down."
Police say hundreds of people who committed drug and gun crimes are also on the list.
Kevin Corley and FranQon Frazier are two who Agent Bingley hopes to find.
Bingley and his team of agents surround Corley’s parent’s home in North Charleston. It’s his last known address.
"We have an arrest warrant so we are going to come in and check,” Bigley tells Corley’s mother.
Corley’s mother replies “Oh, my god."
Agents determine the 21-year-old isn't there. Bingley advises them what to do if they see their son.
“Let him know he has a warrant for probation and he can walk in and take care of it,” says Bingley.
Despite no arrest, Bingley believes their visit was beneficial.
“It works even if we don't get them at the residence. Our presence alone brings communication between us and the family member or the actual subject themselves."
Bingley says FranQon Frazier is also believed to be in North Charleston.
“He is a case out of Florida that we supervise. He has a probation violation for Florida and has a warrant for Florida so we are going to pick him up.”
"State probation! Come to the door!" says a agent as they knock on the home’s door.
Success. Frazier is inside. The arrest is peaceful Frazier doesn't say a word to agents.
"In most cases, if not all cases, our actual goal is to reverse recidivism and hopefully change their lives for the better --give them an opportunity to be successful."
Searching for absconders is not a full-time job in the Palmetto State.
“These agents are very very busy. They manage caseloads of up to 150 individuals a piece, so they are spending a lot of time on those that are in compliance."
It's SCDPPPS’s Peter O’Boyle's hope offenders will contact their office and resolve their warrant.
If they don't, "We will catch them eventually,” explains O’Boyle.
If you have any information about an absconder, you're urged to call 888-761-6175.
the SC absconder list as of August, 2018 can be found by clicking here.