CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Probation and parole agents are trying to track down violent criminals who are dodging state supervision.
There are more than 5,700 absconders in South Carolina who have open warrants right now.
As we explained in our story Monday, they are men and women who are supposed to be checking in with a probation or parole officer but stopped communicating. Some moved without letting the assigned agent know.
Not all of them are violent, but the department focuses on trying to find the ones who are.
On Tuesday, our crew went along with Charleston agents who are looking for Donovan Ferguson and Deangleo Washington.
Ferguson is a 25-year-old who stopped checking in with agents and was entered as absconded at the end of March.
He's currently on supervision for first-degree assault and battery, and has a history of unlawful carrying of a weapon and strong armed robbery among other charges.
Deangelo Washington is a 29-year-old who is on supervision for cocaine possession and failing to stop for a blue light.
He has an extensive history that includes resisting arrest, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and third-degree assault.
DPPPS did not locate either man.
They hope friends or neighbors are willing to call in information to the Most Wanted hotline at 1-888-761-6175.
Agents say it's a challenge to plan and execute warrant sweeps because they require a lot of time and manpower.
"We average twice a month, sometimes we try to do it more. But it's very difficult with the size of the caseloads for those who are in compliance to get out here and go after those aren't in compliance," said Agent James Bingley, who has worked with DPPS for more twenty years.
"Their caseloads were getting overwhelming a few years ago," said DPPPS Director of Public Information Peter O'Boyle. "A couple years ago, in Charleston County for instance, it was getting well up over a hundred, close to two hundred. We're slowly getting it down under 100 in our urban counties. Some of the rural counties even lower. It had gotten to unmanageable levels but it's much better now."
On top of it all, the agents help with special events, too.
Some are helping with traffic on the Wando River Bridge this week.
Many are traveling to Myrtle Beach for Bike Week.
In the meantime, they have to prioritize which missing offenders they have time to track down.