The Pike County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested 8 suspects so far this year in multiple stings targeting internet predators.
Among the latest are 3 men who PCSO Detective Jason McDonald says contacted him through his "investigative social media account." Detective McDonald says each asked him if he was 15, and even after the fictional teenager confirmed her age, all 3 made arrangements to meet up with the girl. All three are charged with internet stalking of a child.
Det. McDonald, who has been leading the investigation, says someone with the screen name "Chads585" sent emails to his investigative account, leading to conversations that started out casual and went to sexual in nature. Even after asking about the girl's age and telling the detective, "Damn, I could get in trouble cause your underage," McDonald says Chads585 still wanted to meet for a sexual encounter. A meeting was set up and Chads585, then identified as 35-year-old Chad Squyres of Smackover, AR, arrived in an 18 wheeler and was taken into custody. During the interview process after being read his Miranda Warning, Squyres allegedly stated that he thought that the "girl" (Detective McDonald) was older and that the conversations were a role playing game.
In another recent case, Det. McDonald says he logged into his investigative social media account and started getting messages and emails from someone using the screen name Matthew Avelar. Again, the conversation started out casual in nature. According to the Pike County Sheriff's Office, "the suspect asked if Detective McDonald was fifteen years old and after confirming that he was he told Detective McDonald that he was thirty-two years old and "an old perv." Avelar, 32, allegedly negotiated an agreement for sex for money with Detective McDonald and a meeting was set up. Avelar was taken into custody when he showed up. Police say he had $81.00, a U.S. Cellular phone, and some condoms in his possession at the time of the arrest.
Avelar was released on bond following his arrest, only to be arrested almost immediately on a warrant for child sexual abuse out of McCurtain County, Oklahoma on a bond of $500,000.
A third suspect went so far as to arrange a meeting with the fictional teen, but backed out. Before long, however, Det. McDonald says the man using the screen name Chuck Williams made contact again. That time, Det. McDonald says Williams did show up and was arrested.
Police say Williams, 55, had an ice chest with Dr. Peppers inside, a sleeping bag, and a video camera with him for the rendezvous.
Williams was read his rights and was questioned, telling the detective that he wanted to give the investigator his story. "Mr. Williams said he saw the girl online and seen she was underage," according to Det. McDonald. "Mr. Williams said he wanted to meet her and talk to her about being online. Mr. Williams said he felt if he didn't talk sexual to her she would not meet him. Mr. Williams then expressed how big of a Christian he was and only wanted to help the girl. Detective McDonald then told Mr. Williams about the conversation about him videoing the girl and he said he just went overboard. Detective McDonald then asked him about the video camera in his car. Mr. Williams then said he was going to set it up and record them talking. Mr. Williams then advised me that he would not have had sex with the underage girl."
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