GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities in Goose Creek say they arrested seven people over a five-day crime sweep that targeted child sexual predators.
The multi-agency operation, which used the help of the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce began on February 12 and concluded on February 16th and utilized more than 50 law enforcement officials.
Goose Creek Police Chief L.J. Roscoe said the operation was the first of its kind in the Lowcountry and worked to identify and take into custody perpetrators who use technology to sexually exploit children.
“We used proactive, undercover methods to track down these perpetrators and bring them into custody,” said Chief Roscoe.
Over the five-day operation, six people were immediately taken into custody and another was captured at a later time.
Chief Roscoe said 21 additional offenders are expected to be taken into custody upon completion of law enforcement’s investigation.
The six people taken into custody were offenders who Chief Roscoe referred to as “travelers.” She said these individuals traveled to a specific location for the sole purpose of having sex with an underage child.
The ages of those children they thought they were coming to have sex with was either 13 or 14-years-old.
“These men were very specific in communicating via the internet what they wanted and expected,” she said. “The majority, if not all of them distributed pornographic pictures to what they believed was a 13 or 14-year-old child.”
Once the men were taken into custody, some were found to be in possession of child pornography or had videos containing bestiality, some of which resulted in additional charges.
On the six original arrests, 21 criminal warrants were obtained and served. Those arrests include:
- Matthew Hagan, 26
- Austin Ostrander, 24
- Seann Peters, 49
- Kent Turkoly, 39
- Joey Clark, Jr., 27
- Otis Miller Jr., 38
The additional person was 24-year-old Anthony Hale, who Chief Roscoe said works for The Nuclear Power Training Command.