Area authorities are searching for a recently released convicted sex offender who they say cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet and slipped out of a Minneapolis halfway house last month.

Rico Ronondo Rodriguez, 34, of Minneapolis, had been staying in a halfway house following his release from prison in early August, when he "absconded" Oct. 26, the Minnesota Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

According to Sarah Latuseck, a spokeswoman for the agency, Rodriguez removed his electronic ankle bracelet before making his escape.

Rodriguez, she said, is a registered third-level sex offender, a designation given to those who are most likely to reoffend once released from prison.

Authorities said Rodriguez has a lengthy criminal history, including several convictions for criminal sexual conduct, domestic assault and theft. Rodriguez served time for sexually assaulting a juvenile girl in the early 2000s and was later imprisoned for failing to register as a sex offender, authorities said.

Rodriguez is described as a black man with black hair and brown eyes, about 5-foot-11 and weighing 227 pounds. He was last seen wearing a gray hoodie, torn blue jeans, a striped winter hat and dark shoes, authorities said.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Department of Corrections 24-hour tip line at 651-603-0026 or call 911.

Libor Jany