Sex crime sting leads to arrest of men trying to meet kids, says Lexington Co. Sheriff

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A secret investigation led to the arrest of 11 men who accused of committing sex crimes involving childrenthe Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the online attack targeting potential sexual predators attempting to contact children for sexual purposes, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

“Officers pretended to be underage teenagers as the suspects messaged them via social media apps,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in the statement. “After the suspect demanded to meet ‘the child’, detectives were staged at a pre-determined meeting place to arrest them.”

No children were ever used or endangered during the operation, according to Koon.

According to the statement, nine of the men who were arrested in the sting are Midlands residents. A man charged with two sex crimes is from Florence, while another resides in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, about 30 miles from Charlotte.

Information about when the undercover operation began or how long it lasted was not available. There was no word on the apps used during the sting.

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“There is no question of 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, as sexual predators look for opportunities to exploit them.”

The following men have been charged:

Christopher Michael Alexander, 30, Gilbert, South Carolina

Charges: attempted first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted unlawful distribution of obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor

Bryan Keith Beane, 61, Kings Mountain, North Carolina

Charges: Three counts of attempted third degree sexual exploitation of a minor, attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted unlawful distribution of obscene material to a person under 18, solicitation criminal offense of a minor, possession of a weapon during a violent crime

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Jason Brandon Davis, 41, Lexington, SC

Charges: Two counts of criminal association, promotion of prostitution of a minor, two counts of attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor

Rodney Carlton Fussell, 25, Leesville, SC

Charges: attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, promotion of prostitution of a minor

Terry Dwayne Goins Jr., 23, Gilbert, South Carolina

Charges: attempted second degree criminal sexual act with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

Nicholas Banks Jeffcoat, 33, Columbia, SC

Charge: criminal solicitation of a minor

Robert Mitchum Nichols, 67, Florence, South Carolina

Charges: Criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor

Karl Jordan Platt, 28, Columbia, South Carolina

Charges: attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

George Stanley Sawyer Jr., 42, Lexington, SC

Charges: attempted first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted unlawful distribution of obscene material to a person under the age of 18 years old

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Hunter Allen Trammell, 20, Newberry, SC

Charges: second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor

Terry William Volcke, 29, Elgin, SC

Charges: Criminal solicitation of a minor, three counts of attempting to disseminate obscene material to a person under 18

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

In addition to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, other agencies involved in the infiltration included the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Secret Service, Navy Criminal Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, Cayce Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Marion, Aiken Public Safety Department, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, West Columbia Police Department, Irmo Police Department, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and Camden Police Department.

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