Sighted sex offender makes 10 Most Wanted list

By Linda Wilkins
Staff Writer

A man last known to be in Moody, a town about 28 miles southwest of Waco, was recently added to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list.

Cody James Guzman, 26, is wanted on charges of sexual assault and two counts of failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements, according to the Keith Mitchel, a research specialist with the DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division.

Waco and Moody are located in McLennan County, whose sheriff’s office issued two arrest warrants for Guzman. Mitchel said a third arrest warrant came from the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. Coryell Country is located southwest of McLennan County.

Guzman is considered armed and dangerous. The Department of Public Safety advises civilians to be aware of their surroundings.

“Guzman has a fairly violent criminal history,” Mitchel said. That criminal history includes charges of: aggravated sexual assault, failure to comply with sex offender registration, criminal mischief, theft, indecency with a child with intent to cause bodily harm, and sexual performance of a child, Mitchel said.

Guzman has various identifying marks, Mitchel said, including tattoos on his left and right shoulders and several scars on his head. Guzman has also gone by the nicknames of “Chucky,” “Chuckie” and “Shorty.” According to the DPS, Guzman has held jobs as a landscaper and gardener, and also worked in food service and at a hydraulics business.

There is a $1,000 reward for information that could lead to Guzman’s arrest. If Guzman is not caught by February, “the amount is expected to increase to $3,000,” Mitchel said.

The Governor’s Crime Stopper Program in Texas funds this money.

The amount of award money is based on a score that sex offenders receive when the Sexual Compliance Council with the Texas Bureau of Criminal Justice examines their sex offenses. This council, Mitchel said, examines the sexual offenders’ records and uses certain criteria to help score them. This score and the criteria are the factors that help determine which sex offenders appear on the Top 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender list.

The criteria to qualify for the list include being convicted of one or more sex offenses, having active arrest warrants for failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements and being listed as absconding with a high risk level of committing another crime.

The score is based on a point system consisting of a number scale from one to 25, and the highest scorers, ranked from one to 10, are placed on the list. If any offender makes a score of 25, he or she is moved to the Texas Most Wanted List. Guzman has a score lower than 25, but it is high enough that he is among the top 10. The scoring system is part of the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders program.

Anyone with information concerning Guzman’s whereabouts can make anonymous tips by sending an email from the DPS Texas Most Wanted Sex Offenders website, texting “DPS (your tip here)” to 274637 or calling the 24-hour Crime Stopper hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS.

The operator that takes the tip will give the tipper a number. It is important to keep this number so that the tipper can receive the tax-free award cash if their tip leads to the capture of Guzman, or any wanted sex offender. Throughout the entire process of collecting the award money, the tipper can remain anonymous.

The Waco Police Department is also working to help find Guzman by understanding his case and what his characteristics are. Their efforts to reduce the number of sexual assaults in Waco do not end there. Sgt. Patrick W. Swanton of the Waco Police Department said that the Waco PD are looking for Guzman like they do for other sex offenders.

“The officers of the Waco PD diligently work to put suspects in jail,” Swanton said. “They work to keep them from offending again.”

Swanton said the department sponsors a community outreach program that educates and speaks with children’s groups, teenagers and other school groups. Swanton said the community outreach group educates students and other groups about ways to prevent becoming a victim. Topics such as robbery prevention, date rape drugs, and the “good touch, bad touch” program for children are the main focuses of the group. The group also offers counseling for victims of sexual assault as part of their outreach. Swanton said the group attempts to inform children that help is always available.

The outreach is free, Swanton said.

Swanton also recommended that home owners or people looking to buy homes research the area they are in to see who is around them. They can do this by going to the Texas DPS website and using a search engine to look for sex offenders in their area.