Operation Child Predator | WXLV | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies say they used officers posing as children online to lure in 19 suspects, with the oldest suspect being seventy years old.

When speaking about suspect Larry Hogan Randolph County Sheriff Gregory Seabolt said “Traveled to a predetermined location in Randolph County to meet who he believed was a nine-year-old child and planned to have sex with her.”

It was all part of Operation Child Predator.

“We had people bringing pizzas, um, it was sad; these people need help,” said Seabolt.

Randolph County Sheriff Gregory Seabolt says his office took the initiative and spearheaded the operation, the first of its kind in the state, working alongside local, state, and federal agencies.

“This is just a perfect example of what interagency collaboration can do when we all come together for a common goal.” said Joe Barringer, a Homeland Security agent.

The Sheriff’s office says most of the suspects admitted to having preyed on children in the past. SBI Agent Kevin Roughton explains the operation comes as crime like these are on the rise.

“The increase has been so substantial in the last few years, and we have not seen the increase in resources to keep up with these type of crimes,” said Roughton.

The Sheriff says this won’t be the last operation in the county.

“Which should serve as a warning for everyone who is contemplating coming to Randolph County with the intentions of sexually abusing or exploiting a child in our county,” said Seabolt.

He says parents need to use parental tools on devices and have open conversations with their children about social media apps.

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