Hen­rico man among 11 ar­rested in child sex sting

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - METRO - BY SEAN GOR­MAN sgor­man@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6885 Staff writer Bryan DeVasher con­trib­uted to this re­port.

A Hen­rico County man was among 11 ar­rested as part of a cy­ber sting in which Spot­syl­va­nia County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in­ves­ti­ga­tors posed as un­der­age teenage girls on chat web­sites.

Most of the men ar­rested, un­aware that they were com­mu­ni­cat­ing with un­der­cover of­fi­cers, thought they were go­ing to have a sex­ual en­counter with a child, the sher­iff’s of­fice said.

Those swept up in the op­er­a­tion were ar­rested be­tween Oc­to­ber and ear­lier this month and were charged with in­de­cent lib­er­ties and elec­tronic so­lic­i­ta­tion of a mi­nor, au­thor­i­ties said. They are:

Regi­nal Lin­wood John­son, 64, of Hen­rico;

Stephen Lewis Red­ford, 27, of Amelia County;

Howard Daniel Dow­den, 32, of Caroline County;

Jon-Paul Pat­ter­son Sny­der, 31, of Caroline;

Mo­hammed Wail Nuri, 20, of Spot­syl­va­nia;

Thomas Wayne Petry, 28, of Spot­syl­va­nia;

Michael Wade Miller, 62, of Spot­syl­va­nia;

Austin Thomas Fowler, 26, of Stafford County;

Michael Allen Sil­ver, 20, no fixed ad­dress;

Gabriel Allen Hester, 33, of Caroline, who also is fac­ing a charge of felony pros­ti­tu­tion; and

Colin Wade Clay­ton, 21, of Spot­syl­va­nia, who also was charged with posses­sion of mar­i­juana and driv­ing on a re­voked li­cense.

Nine men showed up at lo­ca­tions in Spot­syl­va­nia think­ing they were pick­ing up a 13-yearold girl and were ar­rested on site by in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Spot­syl­va­nia Capt. El­iz­a­beth Scott said in a Tues­day news con­fer­ence. Two sus­pects did not show up to pre­de­ter­mined lo­ca­tions where the stings oc­curred, and in­ves­ti­ga­tors sought war­rants to pick them up.

The FBI as­sisted Spot­syl­va­nia in­ves­ti­ga­tors in ar­rest­ing John­son at his Hen­rico home, said Dee Ry­biski, an FBI spokes­woman. He was booked Feb. 7 at the Rap­pa­han­nock Re­gional Jail, ac­cord­ing to VINELink.

Scott did not iden­tify the other sus­pect who did not show up at the meet­ing spot.

The op­er­a­tion was paid for us­ing funds awarded by the Vir­ginia State Po­lice. The money pays for over­time, train­ing and equip­ment, the sher­iff’s of­fice said.

“I think we could prob­a­bly con­tinue do­ing this and make 11 more ar­rests,” Scott said. “And I know that doesn’t sit well with par­ents at home, but that’s why it’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to know what sites your chil­dren are go­ing onto and whom they’re talk­ing to.”

John­son

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