The Warwick Police Department announces the arrest of a registered sex offender for violation of a new RI law aimed at protecting children. It is believed that this arrest is one of the first of its kind in the State of RI since the legislation was just recently passed according to Colonel Stephen M. McCartney of the Warwick Police Department.
McCartney states that on September 2, 2015, the Warwick Police Department along with members of the US Marshall's SOLEMN (Sex Offender Law Enforcement Multidisciplinary Network) task force arrested Heath Gagne, 40 years of age, from Vallette St. in Cranston charging him with violation of Prohibition from Employment- Child Safe Zones which is a felony. The arrest came as a result of shared information and a cooperative investigation with the West Warwick Police Department.
Gagne was arrested by the West Warwick Police Department on August 22, 2015, for failure to notify them of a change of address which is required of all registered sex offenders. During the course of that arrest, Detective Matt Beltrami of the West Warwick Police Department learned that Gagne currently worked for a subcontractor of a local amusement company who operates carnivals throughout the area. Upon learning this, Detective Beltrami conferred with Tracy Lapointe-Webber of Kent County Probation and they determined that Gagne's employment constituted a violation of the new statute. Detective Beltrami advised Gagne of the new law which prohibited him as a registered sex offender from working at the carnivals.
Follow up investigation revealed that Gagne had in fact returned to work at a carnival in Warwick on both August 22nd and 23rd after being advised by the detective that it was in fact unlawful to do so. Warrants were drawn for the arrest of Gagne by Warwick Police Officer Stephen Lombardi who is a member of the SOLEMN task force and along with the US Marshall's and Cranston Police Department he was taken into custody without incident.
"The arrest of Gagne demonstrates how the collaborative efforts of the US Marshall's Sex Offender task force along with local law enforcement and probation continues to help keep our children safe", stated Colonel McCartney.
CONTACT: Lieutenant Michael Gilbert, OIC Community Services Division, 401-468-4344.