36-year-old Andrew Potter of Independence, Missouri, was arrested by the Faulkner County (Ark.) Sheriff’s Office for allegedly exchanging child porn with undercover investigators. FCSO investigators reportedly found Potter on Kik, in a group called ‘pedheaven’. Investigators posed as a man who was willing to let Potter have sex with his wife and possibly one of his kids. Potter was arrested in Faulkner County at the proposed meeting. Potter is also a registered sex offender and was said to have claimed to investigators he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old female. He is currently being held without bond.
In May of 2017, 66-year-old former foster parent Clarence “Charlie” Garretson was sentenced to life in federal prison for sexually abusing and raping at least 14 out of the 35 foster children entrusted to the care of he and his wife by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The crimes took place between 1998 and 2004, when Garretson would take children on over-the-road “trucking trips” and then abuse and rape them in the truck’s sleeper compartment. Following these acts of depravity, big bad Charlie would then threaten the children into not telling what had happened.
Garretson was not charged with any of these crimes until he raped yet another child in 2014. This rape was reported by the child’s parent, resulting in the involvement of the FBI, who then discovered all the other crimes that had occurred while the Garretsons were licensed foster parents 10 years earlier. In court, at least one victim revealed she had tried to tell state caseworkers, Mrs. Garretson and DHS investigators repeatedly, but no one believed her. Another victim said she was too scared to tell anyone at the time, fearful of being moved to another home and thus separated from her siblings.
When Garretson spoke in court, he claimed he didn’t even remember the 7 victims who gave victim impact statements. That’s how trivial and meaningless these crimes were to him. He offered a hollow “I’m sorry to anyone I’ve hurt.” BFD. The judge who handed down the life sentence got it right, though. U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes made sure Garretson, who should have been a safe haven for the already-traumatized children placed in his “care”, will never have the opportunity to hurt another child.
The Arkansas abuse and neglect hotline number is 1-800-482-5964.
Sometimes, I take heat from people who say that a child is more likely to be molested or solicited by someone they know rather than strangers online. While that is true, it doesn’t stop the people who are familiar with their victims from using social media to continue contacting them.
For example, take 26-year-old Kevin Forst of Bentonville, Arkansas. He’s accused of exchanging explicit pictures over Snapchat with a 15-year-old girl. That girl, from Florida, was visiting her sister in Bentonville, who was rooming with Forst. Forst was said to be flirting withe the girl while she visited, but the girl’s sister told them to knock it off.
Reportedly, they didn’t knock it off because Bentonville police received a call from the girl’s father in Florida to file a complaint about Forst. It seems the older sister tipped of their father who checked the girl’s cell phone and found the images. Forst is said to have admitted exchanging pics with the girl and being aware of her age. Forst is currently out on bond.
Good on the sister and dad for teaming up to catch this scumbag. There are too many families out there who don’t have the knowledge to stop a ‘relationship’ like this from happening.
And hey, not a teacher.
32-year-old Randy James Myers, of Honeybrook, Pennsylvania, was arrested after traveling from Bismarck, North Dakota to Conway, Arkansas, in order to allegedly meet an 11-year-old and 14-year-old for sex. According to Google Maps, that’s a 17 hour drive of over 1100 miles. Myers is said to have used the mobile messaging app Kik in a chat room entitled “Incest Family Fun” to make these arrangements.
Thankfully the person he was actually talking to was a Faulkner County Sheriffs Office investigator. At the time of his arrest police say that Myers was in possession of the following…
…multiple sex toys, including a ball gag, rope, sex wrap, restraints, diapers, leash, dog collar, lotions and lubes.
Remember, he allegedly intended to use those on children ages 11-14.
It’s no secret that Kik is full of sex offenders and pedophiles and I’ve been letting Kik off lightly until now. If they are hosting chat rooms called “Incest Family Fun” then they need to start tending to their own yard, so to speak. They definitely need more monitoring in shutting these rooms down.
UPDATE 12/1/2016: Authorities are now saying that Myers could be facing an additional one hundred (100) charges of child porn possession.
39-year-old Andre Martez Straughn of Milton, Florida, was allegedly caught with over 50,000 child porn images, many of which were said to have been traded on Kik.
24-year-old Evan Ballowe, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was recently arrested for allegedly messaging a 13-year-old boy for sex over Kik. Ballowe is a teacher however it appears that the boy he messaged was not from the school he taught at. Ballowe allegedly posed as a 15-year-old boy using the screen name of “Southern Guy”.
“Southern Guy” told the boy sex is “fun” and asked the boy if he could sneak out of his house when his parents were asleep to meet him to have sex, according to the report. The complaint also says “Southern Guy” sent the 13-year-old a picture of an erect penis and a picture of a nude white man laying face down. “Southern Guy” reportedly asked the boy to send nude pictures, but the boy told him his camera wasn’t working.
Now that’s a smart kid. Unfortunately not every kid is that quick on their feet. As I’ve been documenting, Kik is lousy with pedophiles and sex offenders. If you’re not monitoring your children’s online habits someone else will and it won’t be someone with good intentions. More than likely it will be someone like this who wants your kids to sneak out of the house before they abduct and molest them if not worse. So isn’t worth a little inconvenience to your kids?
They say that April is the cruelest month but I think February may have just taken the crown.
Back in February 56-year-old Frank Steinsiek of Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot and killed by someone allegedly posing as a craigslist buyer for the motorcycle he was advertising. Arrested for the shooting and charged with capital murder was 24-year-old Jeramye Hobbs. Hobbs allegedly told police that he bought the bike from Mr. Steinsiek legally but police gathered other evidence that led them to arrest Hobbs.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Steinsiek.
Again, no matter where you are or what you’re selling or buying you are taking your life in your hands by using craigslist. As I’ve stated many times, possibly the only safe place to make transactions is at a police station.
UPDATE 12/19/2016: Hobbs pleaded guilty to the murder of Frank Steinsiek, and was sentenced to 60 years behind bars.
Do you want another cautionary tale about why you should check the apps your kids are using? Too bad, you’re getting one anyway.
In Bentonville, Arkansas, police arrested 52-year-old James Warren Breedlove for allegedly possessing child porn. Police in Bentonville were contacted by police in Wadsworth, Ohio, when parents there discovered that their 12-year-old daughter had exchanged nude pictures with Breedlove over the messaging app Kik.
Further investigation of Breedlove showed that he also communicated with a 16-year-old girl from Ireland, a 14-year-old girl in Illinois and an 11-year-old girl in Georgia. In total police believe that Breedlove received explicit photos from 10 underage victims.
I’ll keep saying it until I have a reason not to anymore. Check what apps are on your kids’ devices and check who is on their friends list on these apps. If you’re not paying attention the predators are.
UPDATE 2/17/2016: Breedlove was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
As I have posted before the Kik messaging app is a tool of the trade for pedophiles and predators. Not only is it used by predators to groom and lure kids but it’s also used by child porn purveyors to trade child porn among them. That’s not to say that Kik isn’t actively reporting such activity.
For example there is 40-year-old James Miller of Lincoln, Arkansas. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that child porn was allegedly being traded through Kik which led to Miller’s arrest. A lot of times the NCMEC receives these tips from the website’s or app’s administrators as they have in the past from sites like Tumblr and Omegle.
So if you’re a predator or child porn perv don’t think that you’re not being watched or the app or website won’t report you because they will.
Recently in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the married couple of Doncouri and Sherwanda Wells were arrested for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Backpage. To hear Backpage tell it you would think they have a foolproof screening system for these kind of ads since they claim to delete a million inappropriate ads a month. So how were the Wellses able to get past such a rigorous screening process?
The girl was found to have several ads for prostitution on the site, according to arrest reports.
Both Wellses had user names posting ads, police said. Both admitted using their credit card to post the ads.
Such a complex scheme rivaling of some of the greatest criminal capers in history. No wait, scratch that. That’s how every ad for an trafficked teen is placed on Backpage. So what exactly does your process entail Backpage because it’s obviously not working.
I don’t know if I’ve made this offer to you yet Backpage but I’m going to make you the same one I made to craigslist. I’ll give you the solution to all this then you can pay me a tidy consulting fee. Do you know what the best way is to prevent teens from being trafficked in sexual slavery on your website? Stop publishing ads for prostitution.