Alleged sex predators arranged to meet children at restaurants, RV park, say court papers
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - We have new information about the men arrested in a police sting targeting child sexual predators.
According to court documents, seven of the suspects traveled to locations in the town of LeRay to have sex with what they believed were 13- or 14-year-old children.
The children turned out to be law enforcement officials.
According to the court papers, the locations where the suspects agreed to meet the “teens” ranged from restaurants to an RV park.
The documents say most of the men used text messaging to communicate with the “children.” One used a social media app.
On Tuesday, state police announced ten men were charged following a multi-day operation in September where law enforcement posed as children online and arranged to meet the ten suspects at an undisclosed location in Jefferson County.
Troopers said three of the suspects are Fort Drum soldiers whose cases are being handled by the Army JAG Corps.
The seven others are civilians; their cases are being handled by Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
According to D.A. Kristyna Mills, one suspect, 47-year-old John Brown of Chaumont has already pleaded to second-degree attempted rape.
He’s due to be sentenced on March 20.
Mills said she believes the court is considering a sentence of probation. Brown would also have to be registered as a sex offender, she said.
Another suspect, 51-year-old David Eads of Brownville, was arrested in December for allegedly sexually abusing a child over several years, from 2015 through 2022.
Eads and the other men are charged with second-degree attempted rape in connection with the police sting. Those cases are still pending.
The other suspects are:
- 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
- Aimin Jiang, age 34, from Watertown, NY
The Fort Drum soldiers are:
- Jonas Santaella, charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and attempted pandering
- Devir Walker, charged with attempted sexual assault of a child
- Aaron Alonzo Vazquez, charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and pandering
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