Online sex sting nets 6 men who solicited officer posing as 15-year-old prostitute
Six men were nabbed in a series of online stings in Plymouth County, including two who tried to solicit a police officer posing as a 15-year-old prostitute on an Internet bulletin board.
The suspects were caught following a three-pronged investigation that included allegations of child pornography, solicitation of a child for prostitution and trying — through a series of online chats — to lure children into sexual encounters.
“People need to understand that these individuals are potentially dangerous and they are dangerous to our kids,” Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said.
The monthslong investigation by state troopers Peter Cooke and Frank Driscoll, both assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, came 14 months after a similar probe netted more than a dozen suspects.
The troopers posed online as teenagers, then were helped with the follow-up investigation by local police departments, including Brockton police, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department's High-Tech Evidence Analysis Team, uniformed state troopers and the state police high-tech crime unit.
Cruz said some people try to downplay the seriousness of the allegations because adults are posing as the children.
“We hear that it's not real children. My job is not going to be (to be) here and wait until a real child is hurt,” Cruz said. “I want to remove these predators to keep our children safe.”
In one part of the recent investigation, three men answering an online advertisement offered to pay someone they thought was a 15-year-old girl for sex.
Two of the men were arrested, and one is being summonsed to court.
Matthew J. Newman, 26, of Newton was charged with trying to solicit sexual conduct for a fee, enticement of a minor and attempt to commit a crime.
Richard Dawson, 42, of Westwood was charged with soliciting sexual conduct for a fee, enticement of a minor and attempt to commit a crime,
A 23-year-old Weymouth man was to be summoned to court to face charges.
In another aspect of the investigation, three other men who chatted with a trooper posing as a 14-year-old girl were charged with trying to lure the “child” into a sexual encounter.
David Caduto, 31, of Weston was charged with enticement of a minor and two counts of attempt to commit a crime.
Peter J. McLaughlin Jr., 29, of Beverly was charged with dissemination of obscene material and attempt to commit a crime.
Adam Nickerson, 24, of North Providence was charged with distribution of obscene matter and attempt to commit a crime.
Investigators also targeted child pornography distribution on the Internet and executed four search warrants in Middleboro, Lakeville, Wareham and Bridgewater.
One man was charged with possession of child pornography, and the investigation is continuing into two other men.
James Dann, 32, of Middleboro was charged with possession of child pornography.
Maureen Boyle of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at email@example.com.