NEWS

11 potential sexual predators accused of attempting to contact children for sexual activity – 5 from Lexington County

Undercover investigators recently arrested 11 men as part of an operation earlier this month targeting potential sexual predators trying to contact children for sexual activity.

“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 social media apps. After the suspect asked to meet with ‘the child,’ detectives were staged at a predetermined meeting spot to arrest them.”

No children were ever used or placed in danger during the operation, according to Koon.

“There is no doubt about the intent of these suspects when the messages and images they sent are reviewed,” Koon said. “That’s why it’s important for parents to know who their children are communicating with online because sexual predators are looking for opportunities to exploit them.”

As members of the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the City of Cayce Police Department, the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Aiken, South Carolina Government Department of Public Safety, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the West Columbia Police Department, the Irmo Police Department, the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Camden Police Department, SC also participated in the operation, according to Koon.

“This operation is the result of strong relationships among law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels.” Koon said. “I’d like to thank Attorney General Alan Wilson for making members of his office available for this operation as part of his continued commitment to local law enforcement.”

The following individuals were arrested and charged:

-Christopher Michael Alexander, 30, Gilbert, South Carolina – first-degree attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor, second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor

-Bryan Keith Beane, 61, Kings Mountain, North Carolina – three counts of third-degree attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor, possession of a weapon during a violent crime

-Jason Brandon Davis, 41, Lexington, South Carolina – two counts of criminal conspiracy, promoting the prostitution of a minor, two counts of second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor

-Rodney Carlton Fussell, 25, Leesville, South Carolina – second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, promoting the prostitution of a minor

-Terry Dwayne Goins Jr., 23, Gilbert, South Carolina – attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

-Nicholas Banks Jeffcoat, 33, Columbia, South Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor

-Robert Mitchum Nichols, 67, Florence, South Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor, second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor

-Karl Jordan Platt, 28, Columbia, South Carolina – second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

-George Stanley Sawyer Jr., 42, Lexington, South Carolina – first-degree attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18

-Hunter Allen Trammell, 20, Newberry, South Carolina – second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

-Terry William Volcke, 29, Elgin, South Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor, three counts of attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18

Koon said more arrests are possible as investigators pursue charges against other suspects identified during the operation.