Officials: Alleged Child Predators Caught Thanks To Vigilant ParentPosted: Updated:
Two men traveled from Vermont to Jefferson County, where authorities say they expected to meet a boy in Depauville for a sexual encounter.
"In this case we were very, very lucky, because the parent of the child was very vigilant," said District Attorney Kristyna Mills.
Police say Anthony Allen and Mark Cuppernell had been corresponding with the boy on social media. The contact allegedly included illicit texts, chats and images. The exchanges were discovered by the parent.
"Typical parent's spot check on a phone. They went through all the apps and located the conversations with these two men," said State Police Investigator Adam Swenson.
Allen and Cuppernell were caught in Depauville before they could ever meet up with the child.
But if not for that parent, Swenson said, "Who knows? The possibilities are endless."
Mills says don't worry about your child's right to privacy. Their safety comes first.
"There are applications out there that will allow you to see everything your kids do on social media. Every post they make. Every text they send," she said.
So you should avail yourself of those apps?
"Absolutely," said Mills.
Investigator Swenson says his police work includes policing his children on social media.
"We call my oldest son Flippy because anytime he screws up with his phone he ends up with a pre-paid flip phone with no internet access. With the technology the way it is, it's too much responsibility for some kids to handle," he said.
Those two suspects are now in Jefferson County Jail. And with Christmas just around the corner, authorities repeat the warning: be careful with the power you place in your children's hands.