VIRGINIA: 20 Men Arrested for Soliciting Sex From Minors Following Online Sting

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The internet has completely changed the world, there is no doubt. And while this revolutionary tool has been used for God’s glory in many incredible ways, it has also enabled people to pursue their darkest desires in increasingly troubling ways.

This has placed children at an even greater risk of exploitation, as strangers can now virtually enter your home—and even your child’s bedroom—with a few clicks or taps.

Parents, be very aware of who your kids are talking to online, as there are far too many predators out there who are taking full advantage of modern technology to seek out and exploit their victims.

Thankfully, law enforcement is evolving with the times and doing what they can to smoke out these predators before it is too late.

Last week, 20 men received a total of 45 charges relating to the online solicitation of minors following a two-day online sting in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Detectives identified suspects they believed were seeking sexual encounters with individuals they knew to be minors online and on social media, local ABC affiliate WRIC reported.

“The suspects communicated with people they believed to be underage members of our community and arranged to meet them at a location to have sexual relations,” Chesterfield Police explained in a release.

Upon arriving at the arranged location, the suspects were met by police and subsequently arrested.

The following individuals were arrested and charged:

Larry A. Brown, 40, of Chesterfield; Joseph R. Ruffin, 51, of Richmond; Jeffrey S. Harrell, 43, of Chesterfield; William M. Rhea, 28, of Chesterfield; Gregorio Q. Curuchich, 27, of Henrico; James G. Bower III, 56, of Chesterfield; Jonathan Ortiz Vitervo, 19, of Richmond; Michael K. Rawlings Jr., 38, of Hopewell; Brian P. McTamaney, 38, of Richmond; Sandeep K. Kichannagari, 30, of Henrico; Jose Sanchez-Morales, 45, of Hopewell; Darryl D. Smith, 43, of Richmond; Henry L. Raynor, 35, of Newport News; William A. Mustain, 68, of Richmond; Luis A. Aguillon, 31, of Henrico; Anthony B. Green, 32, of Chesterfield; Abdul N. Ahmadi, 37, of Fredericksburg; Leonardo S. Salmaron, 30, of Chesterfield; Keith M. Fletcher, 30, of Essex; and Julian A. Jackson, 31, of Chesterfield.

“I would like to remind parents, guardians, and caretakers that this type of exploitation is a reality and it exists at a level and frequency most good people would rather not imagine,” Chesterfield Police Chief Col. Jeffrey Katz wrote in a Facebook post.  “I don’t say this to scare you, but rather to impress upon you the importance of maintaining oversight on your youth’s online activities. Predators count on your good and well-natured tendency to trust the children in your lives and to give them the privacy we might expect in our own lives.  Please don’t fall into that trap.  Don’t let your child drive on any highway, including the information superhighway, without supervision.”

This past week, the Chesterfield County Police Department's Special Victims Section conducted an operation seeking to…

Posted by Chesterfield County Police Chief, Col. Jeffrey S. Katz on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

“We want everyone to know – including those who engage in this type of behavior – that there are no safe places to exploit children in Chesterfield County, Virginia,” he also stated. “We are out there, we are actively looking, and we are committed to interceding whenever possible. We believe in protecting the vulnerable and we will tenaciously work toward this end.”

Thank God for the men and women who are proactively working to protect minors from depraved predators online.

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