A 3-year-old child was taken into protective custody Thursday after authorities looking for a registered sex offender in a Hemet-area home found drugs inside the residence, a Riverside County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force investigator said.
Officers from the S.A.F.E. Task Force arrested Paul Dunfee, 41, in the 58000 block of Red Shank Road in Anza after failing to comply with sex offender registration requirements, Sr. DA Investigator David Hussey with the S.A.F.E. Task Force said in a news release.
He said the SAFE team had been looking for Dunfee because the ex-con had failed to register his current address with law enforcement. Under California Penal Code section 290, convicted sex offenders are required to notify local police whenever they relocate.
Dunfee’s last known address was in Homeland. He was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years old, according to the California Department of Justice.
During the arrest, S.A.F.E. Task Force members found a small amount of methamphetamine in the home, Hussey said, and the drug had been left out where the 3-year-old boy could reach it. The child was taken into protective custody by Child Protective Service social workers, Hussey said.
The child’s mother, Amber Vlasek, 20 was also arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges related to the incident.
Dunfee was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, where he’s being held in lieu of $25,000 bail for probation violations.
Vlasek was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of child abuse, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. She’s being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
The S.A.F.E. Task Force is a collaboration of multi-disciplined law enforcement agencies including the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Department of Justice, and Corona Police Department. S.A.F.E. Task Force personnel are focused on reducing incidents of sexual assault county-wide by means of comprehensive registered sex offender monitoring and enforcement.
City News Service contributed to this report