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Sheriff nails DOC over sex offender

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Authorities are releasing more information on the Code Red alert some Becker County residents received Monday regarding a fugitive sex offender in Detroit Lakes.

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Robert  Baca, 48, who was convicted of raping a Detroit Lakes woman in 1997, remains unaccounted for and Becker County Sheriff Kelly Shannon says it’s because of an error on the part of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Baca, who is a level three predatory offender with a history of taking off without notifying authorities, is on the Intense Supervised Release program through the Department of Corrections.

He has been living in a state-owned house for released offenders located on the 300 block of Summit Avenue in Detroit Lakes.

On May 28, after his time was up that required him to wear a GPS tracker on his ankle, a DOC agent took it off him.

The Department of Corrections makes random, regular checks to ensure Baca is abiding by his probation. The agent last checked on him Saturday at noon and then went on vacation.

The agent who replaced the first agent while he was on vacation didn’t check on Baca until Monday, and by then, he was nowhere to be found.

“The Department of Corrections dropped the ball — big time,” Sheriff Kelly Shannon said.

Baca, who only had a bicycle and no vehicle, last used the telephone on Saturday night, and Sunday, his credit card was used in Minot, N.D. His only family is in California.

 Shannon said that a vehicle was stolen about the time when Baca would have left town, though it hasn’t been proven that he stole the vehicle.

The sheriff said the enforcement believes Baca is no longer in the area, but a Code Red alert was sent out to area residents informing them that Baca’s whereabouts was unknown.

He also said that no incidents regarding Baca had been reported.

Baca is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. He has hazel eyes and short red hair. Baca has several tattoos, including a shamrock tattoo on his left hand.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts are asked to avoid approaching him and to call law enforcement.             

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