Child predators lurk online, and one metro police department wants to stop it.
The Yukon Police Department set up a special unit to catch these criminals in the act. Since it started seven months ago, they’ve made eight arrests.
The latest arrested is 28-year-old Samuel Davis. Police busted him by first placing an ad on Craigslist.
“It just snowballed from there,” said Maj. Mitch Hoskins with the Yukon Police Department.
Davis is among a growing list of alleged child predators that investigators have tracked online.
“They don't know who they're talking to and they just basically lay it out there and make the offers and solicit the sex and everything else,” Maj. Hoskins said.
Investigators set the bait for Davis by setting up a fake ad on Craigslist.
“It's like social media between two people and they're real comfortable with it because they are not face to face yet,” he said.
Investigators said it started out with emails and soon led to Davis sending lewd pictures of himself to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but was in fact an officer.
“People don't realize how prevalent it is,” Maj. Hoskins said. “These people are very bold and brazen and it's like when they get on there and engage in a conversation, they become relaxed about what they're doing and you wouldn't believe the stuff they put on emails and the pictures they send.”
A search warrant was served at Davis' work at Firestone in Oklahoma City, where police seized his phone. Investigators gathered enough evidence off his phone to obtain a warrant for his arrest. However, Davis made his capture easy, when he went back to the police station to get his phone back. He was taken into custody on the spot.
“We're out there and if you're going to engage in this kind of behavior and this kind of activity, we will catch you and we will prosecute you,” he said.
Davis is charged with lewd acts with a child under 16 via telecommunications. He’s currently at the Canadian County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
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