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S'side police apprehend registered sex offender

Due to the diligence of Sunnyside Police Officer Sam Ramos, a registered sex offender who failed to report his whereabouts to local officials and who illegally re-entered the United States after being formally deported was taken into custody this past Wednesday.

The man in question, 33-year-old Francisco Alvarez Castrejon, has been turned over to federal officers. According to Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder, Castrejon not only failed to register as a sex offender, he now also faces mandatory federal prison time for illegally returning to the United States. Radder said Castrejon has prior arrests in Yakima County, for child molestation, communicating with a child for immoral purposes and other offenses.

Castrejon, in all likelihood, would have avoided detection had it not been for the efforts of Ramos.

Radder explained that on May 18 local police officers responded to a report that an 8-year-old boy had been approached by a man, asking the youngster if he wanted to earn $5 by helping do yard work. Radder said the boy accepted the offer and went to a nearby house with the man. The man then called the child's mother and told her where the boy was and not to worry. Radder said the mother went to the house and picked up her son.

Two days later, the woman called local police and asked that the man be told to stay away from her son. Radder said there was no evidence the youngster had been assaulted, but officers were prepared to file luring charges against the man. Radder said the mother requested that charges not be filed.

Ramos, though, refused to give up on the matter.

Assisted by Officer Ollie Hernandez and other officers, Ramos was able to determine that the suspect had lied about who he was, and that he was a convicted sex offender.

The suspect, who was identified as Castrejon, was relocated this past Wednesday and taken into custody.

"This case illustrates the importance of knowing where your children are, who they are with and what they are doing," said Radder.

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