Sheriff's Office

For Immediate Release

PR #: 2000114
Date Issued: Sep 09, 2020 - 10:46am

Sex Offender arrested for non-compliance, soliciting a minor for pornography and prostitution

CONTACT: Sarah Johns
911 Parr Blvd
Reno, NV. 89512
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407


Thomas Sheffler, 24, has been arrested thanks to a partnership investigation by Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit (RSONU) and Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit detectives.

Sheffler is in custody at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detention Facility, and is charged with failing to register as a sex offender/failing to update address (NRS 179D.550), soliciting a child for prostitution (NRS 201.354.6A), encouraging a minor to be the subject of a sexual portrayal in a performance (NRS 200.710.2), facilitating sex trafficking where the victim is younger than 18 (NRS 201.301.2B), and first degree attempted kidnapping (NRS 200.320).

Sheffler was convicted of rape in New York in September of 2019. Detectives determined that he's been living in Reno since December 31, 2019.

The RSONU was formed in 1998 to be in compliance with federal law passed in 1997. At that time Washoe County, the City of Sparks and the City of Reno all agreed there was a need for coordination in law enforcement in the tracking, monitoring, investigation, public notification, and the arrest and prosecution of non-compliant sex offenders. The RSONU operates as a regional, multi-jurisdictional and collaborative entity to carry out the requirements of community notifications as set forth in Chapter 179D of the Nevada Revised Statutes. The RSONU's jurisdictional boundaries encompass all of Washoe County, including the Cities of Reno and Sparks.

In addition to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office investigator, investigators from RPD and SPD are sworn in as Deputies with the WCSO in order to carry out the mission of the Unit. The WCSO also provides an Administrative Office Support Specialist to help with clerical functions.

Currently, there are about 1400 registered sex offenders in the Reno, Sparks and Washoe County area. Each of the three investigators are assigned over 400 offenders to monitor.

The RSONU is open Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm, excluding holidays, and can be reached at (775) 325-6483.

If you, or someone you know has been a victim of Sex Trafficking please call the Human Exploitation and Trafficking unit at (775) 325-6470 or Secret Witness at 322-4900,, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP411) keyword - SW.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.