Crime

One of five fugitive sex offenders surrenders to Woodford sheriff

Melissa Mae Brown
Melissa Mae Brown

One of five fugitives wanted for failure to comply with the sex-offender registry in Fayette County turned herself in to authorities Wednesday.

Melissa Mae Brown, 36, went to the Woodford County Sheriff's Office after seeing her mug shot in Wednesday's Herald-Leader, U.S. Marshal Loren "Squirrel" Carl said.

Carl said officers went to Woodford County to pick Brown up. She is charged with failure to comply with sex-offender registry, a felony.

Authorities said that Brown and four others — Wayne Brian Wade, Lane R. Weidner, Antonio Luis Angel Fuentes and Kenneth Martin — were not found during recent compliance checks by the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

The names and mug shots of the five fugitives were released during a news conference Tuesday announcing the completion of a sweep by federal and local officials. The sweep, which was called "Operation Bluegrass Corral," was led by the marshals service.

During the operation, 262 sex offenders were checked for compliance. Fourteen people were arrested.

A dedicated sheriff's task force performs compliance checks routinely and investigates complaints about offenders. At the time of Operation Bluegrass Corral, 34 offenders were already in jail and five were in federal custody. Many of them had been arrested by the sheriff's office for non-compliance or other crimes.

At any given time, there are about 300 registered sex offenders in Fayette County, sheriff's spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said. The arrest warrants for the five fugitives had been issued by the sheriff's office before Operation Bluegrass Corral began.

Victims in four out of five fugitive cases were younger than 14 years old, according to data compiled by Kentucky State Police. The age of the victim in one of the cases was not released.

Brown was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse against a 1-year-old in Iowa, according to the documents.

She was not living at her last reported address in Lexington during a check by the Fayette County Sheriff's Office earlier this year.

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