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Level III sex offender to be released from prison Feb. 11

The Bemidji Police Department has announced that a Level III sex offender is poised to be released from prison on Feb. 11.

Hibbler Howze, 45, was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion in 2000 in Beltrami County, according to the State of Minnesota.

The Bemidji Police Department issued a press release on Thursday detailing its intent to notify the public about Howze's imminent release.

In the release, the police department stresses that Howze is no longer wanted by police and that he has served the sentence that has been imposed upon him. Neither the Bemidji Police Department nor the Department of Corrections can dictate where the offender does or does not live or where he works or goes to school.

The Community Notification Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 1997, makes it possible for local law enforcement agencies to release some information to the public regarding sexual and predatory offenders that was formerly classified as private data.

Abuse of this information to threaten, harass or intimidate the registered offender may be charged as a crime, according to the press release.