Darlington man 1 of 17 arrested in South Carolina online child sex sting

South Carolina News

Courtesy: Lexington County Sheriff’s Office

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — A Darlington man is one of 17 arrested in an online child sex sting, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office.

The month-long operation involving more than a dozen law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of 17 men accused of contacting children online for sexual activity, the sheriff’s office said. An additional man is wanted on charges for exchanging messages with law enforcement officers posing as minors on social media.

“We, along with the Lexington Police Department and the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, served as the host agencies for this operation,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Officers pretended to be underage teenagers as the suspects messaged them through apps. Some even had phone conversations with officers. After the suspect asked to meet with ‘the child,’ detectives were staged at a pre-determined meeting spot to arrest them.”

Most of the messages involved sexually explicit images and language, according to officials. No children were used or harmed during the operation.

The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Cayce Department of Public Safety, the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Aiken Department of Public Safety also assisted in the operation.

The following people were arrested:

  • William Banks, 51, of Liberty — attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18
  • Steven Bradley, 42, of West Columbia — two counts of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, unlawful carry of a handgun
  • Darrin Bray, 40, of Greenville, Illinois — attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Kevin Carpenter, 26, of Evergreen, North Carolina — attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor
  • Brian Cates, 54, of North Augusta — criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18
  • Geoffrey Dudding, 36, of Charlotte — conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted promoted prostitution of a minor
  • Mark Frick, 54, of Gaston — attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Keair Fuewell, 23, of Gloverville — criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 19
  • Landon Gibson, 40, of Simpsonville — three counts of attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Kane Hicks, 23, of Darlington — attempted sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Walter Huggins, 45, of Camden — criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18
  • David Jones, 51, of Pelion — attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Willie Manning, 57, of Winnsboro — criminal solicitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Joshua Paczowski, 21, of Lexington — attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Misael Quezada, 31, of Blythewood — criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Eric Setterberg, 54, of Gadsden — attempted criminal sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor
  • Charles Templeton, 74, of Gaston — criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted disseminating obscene material to a person under 18

Officials said more arrests are expected as investigators pursue charges against other suspects who were identified during the operation.


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