North Carolina child sex predator sting results in 16 arrests | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — More than a dozen people accused of sexually exploiting or abusing children were arrested as part of a multi-agency sting across North Carolina, investigators announced on Friday. 

Operation Winter Guardian was a joint effort between 44 law enforcement agencies across the state, including local, state and federal investigators in an effort to protect children from internet predators. The operation was part of the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (NCICAC) task force. 

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Several of the suspects arrested are from the Charlotte area, including 35-year-old David Anthony Roux, who was charged with indecent liberties. Neal David Wilfong, who is from the Rowan County community of Cleveland, was charged with two counts of indecent liberties by investigators. 

A joint news conference was held in Gastonia Friday to announce the arrests and findings of the investigation, which ran from Jan. 8-12 with investigators going undercover to participate in online chats with suspects seeking to meet children for sexual activity. Some of those suspects then traveled to an arranged meeting point in Gaston County where they were arrested. 

Investigators said at least five children were rescued from ongoing sexual abuse during the operation. In total, 16 people from across North Carolina were arrested during the investigation. 

“We are very grateful to have partnered with our federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Operation Winter Guardian, and the people of our community should be encouraged by the interagency cooperation necessary to successfully complete this operation,” Gaston County District Attorney Travis Page said. 

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