Clackamas County sheriff arrests 9 in sting operation
Nine men were arrested during a sting operation orchestrated by the Inter-Agency Child Exploitation Prevention Team on in Clackamas County Nov. 17-19.
The "Operation Kidsafe" involved specially trained law enforcement professionals posing as minors to set up meeting with adults allegedly seeking sex. When the men arrived at the meeting place, they were greeted by law enforcement officers.
"We're holding them accountable for really trying to solicit kids in our community, which to me is just appalling," Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said.
The nine men arrested range in age from 21 to 66 and face charges including luring a minor, online sex corruption of a child and encouraging child sex.
Operations like this take a lot of personnel and time to get just right and make sure the cases and arrests are solid.
"It's really staff intensive, very expensive to run these kinds of operations," Roberts said. "I just don't pull a deputy off the street and say 'Hey I want you to get online and chat?'"
The professionals pose as children under the age of 14 were contacted by the nine suspects who were looking for sex through apps like Kik, Snapchat, Musical.ly and others.
"Check your kids' phones and make sure those types of apps aren't on their phones and really having that frank conversation with your kids about being safe online," Roberts said.
Roberts also has a message for predators on the internet: "We are watching online and if you're online trying to solicit kids, we're going to be there."
The men arrested included Shawn Michael Richardson, 43; Patrick Anthony Douglas Lovat, 25; David Hunter Duvall, 38; Nathan Kevin Jump, 21; Douglas Scott Hewitt, 66; Kyle Gregory Johnson, 41; Mahoney McKeon, 45; Ryan Christopher Vanderzanden, 49; and Vincent Gregory Rundo, 46.