JACKSON, Miss. — Six North Mississippi men accused of trying to meet with children for sexual purposes are behind bars.
Hernando Police call the bust Operation Blue Rain.
PHOTOS: Operation Blue Rain leads to child exploitation & narcotics arrests
Police told us there are things that parents can do to reduce the chances of their child being preyed on by a sexual predator.
Operation Blue Rain was worked between the Hernando Police Department and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
Police said they took six suspects trying to meet with children for sexual purposes into custody. Four are from Hernando, one is from Panola County and one from Tishomingo.
Hernando Police Captain Kyle Hodge had this advice for parents.
“Just monitor the social media activity and know where your kids are ultimately because in these instances these people were wanting to meet and they were giving locations and times and they showed up to meet underage children for sexual purposes.”
According to Hernando PD, the number of child predators on the internet is scary.
“It’s something that our investigators can stay busy with all the time and if you start looking at some of these cases and you would be surprised and you would be alarmed it is extremely prevalent in today’s world,” Hodge said.
Hodge shared with us that the suspects in this case had worked to try to befriend the kids.
“There are people out there that want to cause harm to your children and they are misleading them and they give misconceptions of what they want and befriend them and it builds from there.”
The following were arrested and charged as part of Operation Blue Rain:
Michael Murphy, 37, was arrested on allegations of accessing child exploitation material following a search warrant. Murphy was apprehended at his place of employment in Panola County.
Terry Eugene Johnson III, 23, was arrested and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child. Johnson made arrangements to meet the child for sexually explicit conduct at a location in DeSoto County.
Rick Russell, 21, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Johnny Allen Polnitz, 23, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Tailya Tanee Smith, 20, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Deaundra Donelle Wilson, 29, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Johnathan Deshaun Ford, 21, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Jermichael Parker, 26, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Richard Carter, 62, who is already a registered sex offender, was arrested on charges originating from the State of Florida. Pending charges allege Carter sexually abused a minor in Mississippi and Florida. Mississippi investigators located Carter and collected evidence from Carter’s residence in Tishomingo County.
Investigations are still ongoing and may result in additional arrests, according to the Attorney General’s Office.