5 Online Predators From VA, MD Arrested In Fairfax Police Sting | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — Fairfax County Police detectives arrested five online predators last week who were looking for children for sexual exploitations, authorities said.

Detective Blake Albritton of the department’s Child Exploitation Unit told reporters on Wednesday that detectives from his unit used undercover personas they had developed to pose as minors to target websites that predators were known to use to contact potential victims.

“We arrested five individuals over the course of the operation and we had 12 felony arrests,” Albritton said, adding that detectives still need to follow up on some of these cases.

The five men arrested are:

  • Steven Morales, 30, of Woodbridge was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.
  • Karl Frey, 53, of Maryland was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.
  • Joseph Nandigam, 24, of Fairfax was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.
  • Adeel Chughtai, 30, of Lorton was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Byron Crawford, 26, of Maryland, was arrested and charged with two counts of Solicitation of a Minor and three counts of Distribution of Child Pornography.

“These aren’t just a one day or one week thing,” Albritton said, of the investigations. “These chats can obviously take a long time. Sometimes they can take a couple hours, sometimes they can take weeks or months, just depending on the target and what we’re going for.”

Parents should be monitoring their child’s online activities, especially at night, according to Albritton.

“We try to tell parents, especially with younger children, that nothing good happens on their phone after eight or nine o’clock when they’re supposed to be in bed,” he said. “One of the best tips I think we can give is to have that charging cable where the phone or tablets can be charged in your bedroom or in the parents’ bedroom so the kids don’t have access to it.”

Something that investigators are seeing more frequently are cases in which adults are posing as children, sending pictures and then asking the child to send them pictures in return. The adult then extorts the child for money.

“If that happens, make sure you talk to your parents, make sure to talk to a counselor at school and then contact us,” Albritton said. “If we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it.”

If FCPD detectives receive a tip about a child extortion or sexual exploitation incident that takes place in the U.S., they will pass that information on to that jurisdiction.

On crimes that originate overseas, FCPD’s Child Exploitation Unit works with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“The most important reason we do this is obviously we want to protect our children from the predators that are out there,” Albritton said. “One of the things we always try to tell parents is that any application or any website that children or child has access to, there are predators on those websites.”

Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents or others with a similar nexus to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 6. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

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