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5 men arrested in Fairfax County police sting targeting suspected online child predators | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey | #hacking | #aihp


FAIRFAX, Va.Five men were arrested in Fairfax County during a four-day crackdown aimed at targeting suspected online child predators.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit identified the men after they say they initiated sexually related conversations with individuals believed to be juveniles online.

Detectives say the five men were arrested after they attempted to meet and allegedly engage in sex acts with the individuals they believed were minors.

This sting happened last week while kids were on spring break, but there are ongoing busts to take predators off the streets.

Back in December, FOX 5 reported on a three-day sting in Fairfax County where ten men were arrested for similar meetups.

Detective Blake Albritton said they want to send the warning loud and clear to parents – know your kids’ passwords, check their phones, and make sure you are aware of what they’re doing on their devices.

One example of hidden apps kids use to communicate might surprise you.

“I always tell parents, if you see two calculator apps on your child’s phone, one of them is probably a hidden vault, so ask your child why they have two calculators because no kid has a second calculator. It’s one of those things that every time we point that out, a parent sees it and says ‘oh there’s something there,’” Albritton explained.

Albritton also suggested parents take devices and charging cables away from younger children after bedtime because many of the cases where kids were chatting with adults were late at night, after they were supposed to be asleep.

“This is a conversation everybody needs to be having in their homes,” said Asst. Chief Brooke Wright. “We do believe there’s underreporting. Some kids might be embarrassed that they’ve sent pictures, they don’t want to tell their parents what they’ve done, and they’re being extorted and victimized.”

Investigators also indicated that not only are victims seemingly getting younger and younger in child exploitation cases, but suspects are as well – pointing out disturbing instances of 15-year-olds looking at photos and videos of toddlers.

The men who were arrested during the recent sting ranged in age from 24 to 53 years old and were charged with a total of 12 felonies.

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5 men arrested in Fairfax County police sting targeting suspected online child predators (Fairfax County Police Department)

They have been identified as:

-Steven Morales, 30, of Woodbridge was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.

-Karl Frey, 53, of Maryland was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.

-Joseph Nandigam, 24, of Fairfax was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor and Attempted Indecent Liberties with a Minor.

-Adeel Chughtai, 30, of Lorton was arrested and charged with Solicitation of a Minor.

-Byron Crawford, 26, of Maryland, was arrested and charged with two counts of Solicitation of a Minor and three counts of Distribution of Child Pornography.

Police urge parents to closely monitor their children’s online activities and use available security settings to prevent the use of inappropriate sites or platforms.

Children are encouraged to report any person engaging in inappropriate conversations or who ask for sexually explicit images of themselves.

Internet safety information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can be found online.

Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact them at 703-246-7800, option 6.

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