Man charged for failing to register as a sex offender

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A Gaylord man, Romeo Alba, was charged Friday for failing to register as a sex offender.

Alba, who has lived at 355 Second Street West in Gaylord, was arrested last week.

After reports of suspicious activity for the past month, Police have been wanting to talk to Alba. According to the criminal complaint, the Gaylord Police, last Wednesday, were informed that someone matching Alba’s description was spotted in the downtown area.

Alba was later stopped by Gaylord Police while walking east on High Avenue, between Third and Fourth Streets. After being identified, a background check revealed that Alba, 33, is a high risk sex offender in Texas, according to Interim Police Chief Kevin Guggisberg. Gaylord Police contacted the Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, who called the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which advised that Alba needs to register as a sex offender.

According to the complaint, Alba left Texas without registering with Minnesota as a sex offender.

Alba had previous contact with Winthrop Police in June 2009. Winthrop Police had received complaints that Alba was allegedly hanging around younger female children, according to the complaint.

Alba was placed under arrest and transported to the Sibley County Jail. In an interview with law enforcement, Alba admitted to being in Minnesota since at least June 2009.

The court set bail at $10,000 cash to $100,000 bond and follow conditions. Conditions include remaining law abiding and making all future court appearances, reporting changes of home and/or work address and telephone number to the court and attorney. The court approved Alba’s application for a public defender.

Guggisberg also said that the San Antonio, Texas Police Department had also been searching for Alba and now have paperwork filed with the district attorney’s office to charge him with failing to register as a sex offender in Texas.

Guggisberg, on behalf of the Gaylord Police Department, expressed appreciation to the community for reporting the incidents. “Suspicious activity was reported, and that’s what is needed to catch someone like this. There are people like this. We don’t want anyone to panic, but be aware.”

A Rule 8 hearing was held Monday. Alba requested a reduction in bail, but it was opposed by the prosecution and Judge M. Michael Baxter. Alba is currently in the Sibley County Jail.

Attorney Bill Cowell is representing Alba, while Don Lannoye is serving as the prosecuting attorney.

An omnibus hearing is set for Dec. 17 at 11 a.m.

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