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3 alleged child predators arrested in sting operation | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


An undercover operation by the New Mexico Department of Justice resulted in three arrests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An undercover operation by the New Mexico Department of Justice resulted in three arrests. It all surrounded child predators initiating contact with underage children on Meta platforms.

The New Mexico DOJ filed a lawsuit against Meta over what they call a lack of protections for children on these social media platforms. 

During “Operation MetaPhile” the men thought they were talking to children, not undercover agents. Two of them were immediately taken into custody on May 7 at a Motel 6 in Gallup.

One of the suspects was 52-year-old Fernando Clyde. The DOJ said he started communicating with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl on Facebook back in February.

The second suspect, 29-year-old Marlon Kellywood reportedly started messaging someone he thought was a child on Facebook in December 2023. This is the same month the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Meta over trafficking and sexual abuse concerns on the platforms.

“It is truly horrifying, they communicated and exchanged explicit sexual content, explicit sexual material, through the messenger application on Facebook and they also solicited quite clearly a sexual interest in children,” said Raúl Torrez, New Mexico’s attorney general.

Both are charged with one count of child solicitation by electronic communication device and attempted criminal sexual penetration of a minor.

Torrez said none of the agents posing as children initiated any of the inappropriate conversations.

“Each instance the individuals who have been identified in the course of this operation are able to find and locate these children through the design features and the algorithm that is specifically set forth underneath these platforms,” he said.

The third arrest happened earlier this year on April 23, 2024. The arrest of Christopher Reynolds happened after concerned parents in Chaves County told law enforcement about concerning messages.

“After raising their concerns to the Chavez County Sheriff’s Department, Chavez County contacted our office and special agents, and we created a decoy account for use in connection to investigate Mr. Reynolds activities,” Torrez said.

Reynolds faces one count of child solicitation by electronic communication device. 

Law enforcement officials said he also had to register as a sex offender in Texas after he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old family member. 

“This is Mark Zuckerberg’s fault; this is the fault of executives at a company that has extraordinary resources at its disposal and has chosen time and again to place profits over the interests of children. For those of us who are engaged in this work are tired of the rhetoric, tired of the assurances that have been given to members of our communities,” the attorney general said.

As for the lawsuit that the NM DOJ filed back in December 2023, Torrez said it is still in the early stages. As of right now he does not plan to use the findings of this undercover operation in the case, it was just to identify predators and get them off the streets.



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