State police say several people have been arrested after an operation targeting those attempting to exploit children on the internet.
The investigation was launched by the New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force/Computer Crime Unit with help from the Department of Army Criminal Investigative Division and FBI.
As a result of the operation, ten individuals were arrested as part of the multi-day operation and subsequently prosecuted by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and/or the Army JAG Corps.
State police arrested the following individuals for second-degree attempted rape:
- Travis R. Petrey, age 35 from Barbourville, KY;
- Rene L. St. Pierre, age 54 from Ogdensburg, NY;
- Michael J. Steria, age 49 from Carthage, NY;
- Brian T. LaPlatney, age 29 from Harrisville, NY;
- John W. Brown, age 47 from Chaumont, NY;
- Aimin Jiang, age 34 from Watertown, NY; and
- David L. Eads, age 51 from Brownville, NY.
Three of those who were arrested are active-duty soldiers, according to state police.
Jonas Santaella was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and attempted pandering. Devir Walker was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child. Aaron Alonzo Vazquez was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and pandering.
Police say operations like this have led to the discovery of additional victims at the hands of these offenders.
They ask anyone who may know a victim to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber tip line (877) 474-KIDS, The New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, or The New York State Police Computer Crime Unit in your area.
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