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Predator Poachers track down accused child predator in Port St. Lucie | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


A Port St. Lucie man was arrested Thursday night, accused of trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.But it wasn’t police who tracked the man down.Instead, it was a nationwide group called Predator Poachers.“We pose as minors online, and predators from across the country message us,” said Alex Rosen, head of Predator Poachers. “And they arrange meetings with who they think is an underage kid.”Stay up-to-date: The latest headlines and weather from WPBF 25Rosen said a Port St. Lucie resident named Rodney Hickman messaged one of their fake social media accounts back in September.“He solicited sexual favors from this 13-year-old girl he thought he was talking to, including intercourse, oral, anything you can think of,” Rosen said.After months of messaging, they arranged a meeting Thursday night at a home in Port St. Lucie.When Hickman arrived, he was greeted by Rosen and a camera crew recording it all.“Do you know what I’m here to talk to you about,” Rosen asked Hickman on the video.“Yeah,” Hickman replied.Later on in the video, Predator Poachers challenges Hickman about what he was doing.“She asked how old you are. And you are 27,” Rosen said. “And she said, ’13, is that OK?’ Do you remember that now?”Your neighborhood: Local coverage from WPBF 25 NewsRosen said even once Hickman realized there was no 13-year-old girl, he still stuck around and talked to them for about an hour.“He admits his intentions and then, on top of that, he also admits to talking to other minors and to viewing child pornography as young as infants and toddlers,” Rosen said.In the video, Rosen asked Hickman about his history.“What’s the youngest you think you’ve seen?” he said.“I’d say like maybe 8,” Hickman said.After the conversation, Predator Poachers called the Port St. Lucie police, who came and arrested Hickman.Predator Poachers turned over the evidence of their online chats and the video they recorded.Police chief Richard del Toro said he’s grateful for what Predator Poachers did to take an accused sexual predator off the streets.However, he also said he hopes they don’t do it again, given the risks of violence and obtaining evidence that wouldn’t be admissible in court.“Although the intentions are good, sometimes they can have unintended consequences,” del Toro said. “And I think it’s better to leave it to law enforcement to do this type of work.”Rosen, though, said he has no plans to stop.He believes police need his help.“There’s just way too many of these people to only leave it to law enforcement or to only leave it to us,” Rosen said.Hickman is charged with obscene communication – traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child and cruelty towards a child – transmitting information harmful to minors.He is currently being held in the St. Lucie County Jail.Get the latest news updates with the WPBF 25 News app. You can download it here.

A Port St. Lucie man was arrested Thursday night, accused of trying to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

But it wasn’t police who tracked the man down.

Instead, it was a nationwide group called Predator Poachers.

“We pose as minors online, and predators from across the country message us,” said Alex Rosen, head of Predator Poachers. “And they arrange meetings with who they think is an underage kid.”

Stay up-to-date: The latest headlines and weather from WPBF 25

Rosen said a Port St. Lucie resident named Rodney Hickman messaged one of their fake social media accounts back in September.

“He solicited sexual favors from this 13-year-old girl he thought he was talking to, including intercourse, oral, anything you can think of,” Rosen said.

After months of messaging, they arranged a meeting Thursday night at a home in Port St. Lucie.

When Hickman arrived, he was greeted by Rosen and a camera crew recording it all.

“Do you know what I’m here to talk to you about,” Rosen asked Hickman on the video.

“Yeah,” Hickman replied.

Later on in the video, Predator Poachers challenges Hickman about what he was doing.

“She asked how old you are. And you are 27,” Rosen said. “And she said, ’13, is that OK?’ Do you remember that now?”

Your neighborhood: Local coverage from WPBF 25 News

Rosen said even once Hickman realized there was no 13-year-old girl, he still stuck around and talked to them for about an hour.

“He admits his intentions and then, on top of that, he also admits to talking to other minors and to viewing child pornography as young as infants and toddlers,” Rosen said.

In the video, Rosen asked Hickman about his history.

“What’s the youngest you think you’ve seen?” he said.

“I’d say like maybe 8,” Hickman said.

After the conversation, Predator Poachers called the Port St. Lucie police, who came and arrested Hickman.

Predator Poachers turned over the evidence of their online chats and the video they recorded.

Police chief Richard del Toro said he’s grateful for what Predator Poachers did to take an accused sexual predator off the streets.

However, he also said he hopes they don’t do it again, given the risks of violence and obtaining evidence that wouldn’t be admissible in court.

“Although the intentions are good, sometimes they can have unintended consequences,” del Toro said. “And I think it’s better to leave it to law enforcement to do this type of work.”

Rosen, though, said he has no plans to stop.

He believes police need his help.

“There’s just way too many of these people to only leave it to law enforcement or to only leave it to us,” Rosen said.

Hickman is charged with obscene communication – traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child and cruelty towards a child – transmitting information harmful to minors.

He is currently being held in the St. Lucie County Jail.

Get the latest news updates with the WPBF 25 News app. You can download it here.



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