A former San Manuel resident faces charges in two counties for failing to register as a sex offender.
On Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, a Pinal County Sheriff deputy on routine patrol in the Oracle area stopped to assist a stranded motorist.
The motorist was identified as Michael Thomas Harrison, 38, a Level 3 – High Risk Registered Sex Offender. Harrison is subject to sex offender registration in Arizona after being convicted of attempted sexual assault of an 88-year-old woman in Pima County in 1999.
Harrison was registered as living in the San Manuel area, but when questioned by the deputy, admitted that he had been living near Marana for two days. The deputy became suspicious that Harrison had failed to register as a sex offender, but due to a lack of evidence, Harrison was released that night.
The deputy contacted the PCSO Sex Offender Registration and Tracking (SORT) unit, who began an investigation.
The investigation revealed that Harrison had left his registered address several months prior, and had lived at different addresses in Marana and Tucson without registering. The investigation later developed information that Harrison may have been in possession of marijuana and a handgun although he is a prohibited possessor.
On Thursday, May 1, 2014, PCSO SORT detectives, working in cooperation with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department SORT unit and the United States Marshal’s Service, located and arrested Michael Harrison as he was leaving his apartment in the city of Tucson. Harrison had apparently been living there unregistered for approximately one month, and had previously been living unregistered in Marana for several months before. Harrison admitted knowing that he was required to register and admitted he had not registered in Pima County.
Harrison was booked into the Pima County Jail, and now faces charges of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in both Pinal and Pima counties.
“The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Registration and Tracking unit is responsible for the registration of over 700 registered sex offenders in Pinal County, and the tracking and management of over 300 offenders in the unincorporated areas of the county,” Sheriff Paul Babeu explained. “PCSO SORT also conducts specialized investigations into violations of Arizona’s sex offender registration laws as well as working in conjunction with local police and other agencies to investigate unregistered offenders.”