ST. THOMAS — A Virgin Islands man was arrested Tuesday as he attempted to board a flight at King Airport after authorities received a tip that he was an unregistered sex offender.
Dustin Bue Messerly, 41, was taken into custody by special agents with the V.I. Justice Department’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act unit after he was detained by Customs and Border Protection Officers, according to a press release from V.I. Justice Department spokeswoman Sandra Goomansingh.
Messerly was convicted in Utah on a felony charge of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor-attempted and a misdemeanor charge of voyeurism by electronic equipment concealed or disguised in 2012, according to the V.I. Justice Department.
Messerly failed to register and notify the department that he relocated to St. Thomas and is employed here, in violation of the sex offender registration laws, Goomansingh said. Messerly was required to register as a sex offender within three business days of arriving at a new location.
Registered sex offenders must notify the department of their name, residence, temporary lodging information, vehicle information, Internet identifiers, telephone numbers, school information and employment status.
V.I. Justice Department special agents from the Sexual Offender Registry unit, with the assistance of U.S. Marshals and other local and federal agencies, routinely conduct unannounced inspections of registered sexual offenders to verify their locations and other personal information, such as their work and home addresses, according to Goomansingh’s statement.
If convicted of failing to register, or not keeping registration information current, sex offenders can face a fine of $3,000 to $5,000 and imprisonment for three months to two years.
The law also provides that it is an offense to assist a sex offender in evading registration requirements.
The sex offender registry is available for public view at usvi.nsopw.gov.