#minorsextrafficking | Undercover Sting Nets 14 Arrests

The FBI and local authorities conducted an undercover sting operation last weekend in Madison County targeting those who were looking for minors online.  Police posed as children and young teens in chat rooms and on social media and were eventually contacted by the suspects who wanted to meet them in person and in many cases for sexual encounters. 

All of the suspects have been charged in U.S. District Court out of East St. Louis and over 50 law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions took part in the two-day operation. Thirteen men and one woman were arrested and charged after arriving at the undercover residence to meet the fictitious minors, including people from Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Granite City, and St. Louis.  No actual minors were harmed.  Federal authorities say parents need to be vigilant in what their children are doing online with websites or apps because there are people around the world who are seeking them out to do them harm. 

Those facing charges according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois:

Brett Brimberry 28, Glen Carbon, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Richard L. Britt 38, Granite City, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor; Interstate Travel to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

Urich Gaines 32, Belleville, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Kayln E. Hogatt 27 Bridgeport, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor; Attempted Production of Child Pornography

Kevin Kamler, 30, O’Fallon, MO., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Brian Lotz, 56, Collinsville, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Anthony Parrish, 33, Swansea, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Philip M. Reis, 55, O’Fallon, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Gerald S. Sewell, 56, Belleville, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor; Interstate Travel to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

James R. Sears, 35, Bridgeport, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Travis Shubert, 29, Granite City, IL., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Preston Thomas, 57, St. Louis, MO., Attempted Enticement of a Minor

Nicholas Wright, 35, O’Fallon, MO., Attempted Enticement of a Minor; Interstate Travel to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct; Attempted Sex Trafficking of a Child

Vallie F. Zeller, 43, St. Louis, MO., Attempted Enticement of a Minor; Interstate Travel to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct; Attempted Production of Child Pornography

All 14 defendents will be held without bond or released on electronic monitoring and other strict conditions mandated by the Adam Walsh Act.

 

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)

 

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