Qua­paw of­fi­cial in­dicted in sex sting

Mi­ami man in­dicted on count of try­ing to en­tice fic­ti­tious girl into sex­ual ac­tiv­ity

Tulsa World - - Our Lives - By Cur­tis Kill­man on Sky­line Cur­tis Kill­man 918-581-8471 cur­tis.kill­man @tul­saworld.com Twit­ter: @lou­card­fan61

A fed­eral grand jury has in­dicted a Qua­paw Tribe of­fi­cial on one count of at­tempted en­tice­ment of a mi­nor fol­low­ing an un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Thomas Craw­fish Mathews, 35, of Mi­ami, Ok­la­homa, was re­leased on his own re­cog­ni­zance af­ter be­ing ar­raigned Tues­day in Tulsa fed­eral court.

An in­dict­ment dated Nov. 6 that was un­sealed Tues­day charges Mathews with us­ing a cell­phone to “per­suade, in­duce and en­tice an in­di­vid­ual whom he be­lieved had not at­tained the age of 18 years to en­gage in any sex­ual ac­tiv­ity for which any per­son can be charged with a crim­i­nal of­fense.”

Thomas is vice chair­man of the Qua­paw Tribe of Ok­la­homa Busi­ness Com­mit­tee, ac­cord­ing to the tribe's web­site. He is also em­ployed by the tribe, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments filed in connection with the in­dict­ment. An ap­pli­ca­tion for a search war­rant also un­sealed Tues­day iden­ti­fies Mathews as the per­son who tried to meet Aug. 31 to en­gage in sex with a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be fic­ti­tious.

Ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit filed in sup­port of a re­quest by fed­eral of­fi­cials to search Mathews' home on Sky­line Drive in Mi­ami for elec­tronic de­vices, a Mi­ami Po­lice de­tec­tive cre­ated a post ti­tled “Mis­sion com­plete lol” un­der the user name “An­gel2022” on the anony­mous chat ap­pli­ca­tion Whis­per.

A short time later, some­one with the user­name “Big T” con­tacted the un­der­cover of­fi­cer and be­gan to chat on­line.

“`Big T' was later iden­ti­fied as Thomas Craw­fish Mathews, age 35,” ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit signed by a Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions spe­cial agent.

The un­der­cover of­fi­cer later di­rected the user “Big T” to a location to meet, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Mi­ami Po­lice con­duct­ing sur­veil­lance in the area ob­served a per­son iden­ti­fied as Mathews ar­rive in a black Nis­san Ti­tan with the Qua­paw tribal plate “T.”

The un­der­cover of­fi­cer di­rected the user Big T to a sec­ond location where Mi­ami Po­lice ob­served Mathews ar­rive later, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit for the search war­rant.

At the sec­ond location, Mi­ami Po­lice con­tacted Mathews, who de­nied al­le­ga­tions that he was the Whis­per ac­count user “Big T” and had at­tempted to meet with a 13-yearold to en­gage in sex, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Mathews con­sented to a po­lice search of his iPhone. Po­lice didn't find the Whis­per ap­pli­ca­tion on it.

Mi­ami Po­lice served a search war­rant on Sept. 6 to Whis­per com­pany of­fi­cials in Cal­i­for­nia, who told au­thor­i­ties that the user ac­count associated with “Big T” had been deleted “in close prox­im­ity” to when po­lice first en­coun­tered Mathews.

“Whis­per fur­ther stated that Mathews has en­gaged in more than 3,000 con­ver­sa­tions and has sent 12,571 mes­sages in the app,” ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Fur­ther po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined that the Whis­per ac­count had been ac­cessed by the user “Big T” from a tele­phone num­ber associated with Mathews' home Drive.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials searched Mathews' home on Oct. 11, seiz­ing four iPhones and “mar­i­juana snacks.”

Mathews' at­tor­ney could not be reached for com­ment.

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