3 locals charged in FBI child predator operation

CONCORD, N.C. — Three men were arrested in Concord this week as part of an FBI online predator operation, the federal agency announced.

Lindon Kristofer Claridge, 22, Michael Wayne Dennis, 28, and James Graber Ford, 26, face state online sex crime charges after a two-week effort by North Carolina law enforcement agencies that netted seven other suspects across the state.

Claridge was charged with two counts of first degree kidnapping, two counts of taking indecent liberties with children and one count of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He remains in the Cabarrus County Jail under a $100,000 bond.

Second degree sexual exploitation of a minor involves the suspect knowingly distributing or receiving a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity, according to North Carolina General Statutes.

Police say Claridge contacted a 12-year-old girl through Facebook using a fake profile name and persuaded her to send him a nude photo last summer, according to a report by news partner WSOC-TV. He was arrested in October after allegedly meeting another 12-year-old girl on Facebook, picking her up from her home and having an inappropriate relationship with her.

Ford was charged with six counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor and was freed after posting $100,000 bond on Wednesday.

Residents who live near Ford’s house on Union Street N say they saw FBI agents removing computer-related items from the home in August.

Dennis was charged with one count of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He remains in the Cabarrus County Jail under a $25,000 bond.

source: http://www.independenttribune.com/news/locals-charged-in-fbi-child-predator-operation/article_f8db9374-ad71-11e4-8dd4-5bc7b3d1fb4a.html