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WINTON, N.C. -- Federal marshals announced a sweeping operation in northeastern North Carolina targeting registered sex offenders.

Officials say 'Operation Northern Star' was designed to verify that all registered offenders in three counties have complied with state guidelines.

Working with state and local agencies, the U.S. Marshals Service visited the homes of 134 registered sex offenders in Gates, Hertford, and Northampton Counties.

During the sweep, authorities arrested eight people on various charges and seized weapons and drugs.

Charges against registered sex offenders included failure to notify change of address and failure to register as a sex offender.

Those charged include:

* Wendell Lee, age 45, Failure to Notify Change of Address - Sex Offender and Probation Violation

* Marvin Joel Mizelle, age 53, Failure to Notify Change of Address Sex Offender

* Jeffrey Bernard Chamblee, age 43, Child Support Violation and Probation Violation

* George Lee Deloatch, age 50, Possession of a Firearm by Felon

* Brian Cornelius Whitfield, age 44, Possession of a Firearm by Felon, Possession with Intent to Sell/Distribute Cocaine, Maintaining a Dwelling for the Sale/Distribution of Narcotics, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia

* Darryl Keith Deloatch, age 50, Larceny of a Motor Vehicle

* Quran Picosso Gatling, age 31, Fugitive warrant from Virginia, Child Support, Resisting Arrest, and Failure to Appear

* Fentress Hathaway, age 43, Felony Probation Violation Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

Authorities say additional arrests are possible.

The Marshals Service says the operation is an effort to enforce the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, a law passed in 2006 designed to prevent sex offenders from moving to new jurisdictions without registering.

Officials say more than 45 law enforcement officers participated in the operation, and they seized 18 firearms, 677 rounds of ammunition, and crack cocaine.

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