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17 sex offenders tracked down

The state has tracked down 17 criminals from its most wanted sex offenders list.

Law enforcement leaders compiled the list based on criteria ranging from the seriousness of the offenders' crimes to their overall criminal histories.

Gov. Jim Doyle's administration says that of those offenders the state found, 14 are now in custody, one is dead, another was deported, and another posted bond while he awaits a felony trial.

Doyle also says that 88 percent of Wisconsin's sex offenders now comply with the law that requires them to keep the state posted on their whereabouts.

That's above the national average of 76 percent, although Doyle says it should be higher. He says it's difficult because some of the cases are years old and involve people who haven't been seen for years.

However, Doyle says that doesn't mean officials are going to give up. He says the state will be looking for "absolutely everybody who's legally required to register and who has failed to maintain their registration."

There are still 21 of the offenders originally added to the most-wanted list that have not been found, and Doyle ordered law enforcement to add another 20.

The state says a partnership with four surrounding states has helped it track down some of the criminals. Wisconsin now shares its sex offender information with Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.