UPDATE: 3 Arrested in Marathon Co. Child Sex Sting

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

UPDATE: Mon 4:30 PM, Sept. 23, 2013

Another Marathon County resident is facing charges following a multi-county child sex trafficking sting, bring the total of arrests to three.

According to a news release, undercover officers posed and 15-year-old boys and girl and posted and responded to ads on Craigslist regarding engaging in sexual activity.

Robert Spreeman, 28, Aprin was arrested during the sting on Friday.
He's expected to be charged with child enticement and use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

UPDATE: Mon 11:57 PM, Sept. 23, 2013

The Brown County Sheriff's Office says a second Wausau man was arrested during a four-day child sex trafficking sting.

Shayd Mitchell, 21, was arrested Saturday on charges of Child Enticement – Sexual Contact and Using a Computer to Facilitate a Sex Crime.

Mitchell is behind bars in the Marathon County Jail.

This is the third operation of its kind occurring in northeast Wisconsin. The first operation occurred in October of 2012 and netted five arrests. The second operation (Operation Black Veil I) occurred during the week of Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 through Thursday, March 14th, 2013.

UPDATE: Mon 11:01 AM, Sept 23, 2013

A 21-year-old Wausau man is one of 15 people arrested during a four-day child sex trafficking sting.

During the operation, undercover officers posed as 15-year-old boys and girls and posted and responded to ads on Craigslist.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, undercover officers responded to an ad of a man seeking a sexual encounter before his girlfriend came home. According to the criminal complaint, the officer stated twice they were a 15-year-old girl. The suspect, later identified as Pravong “Colin” Thongdara, responded by email saying “Aight sounds gud.”

Thongdara agreed to meet the girl in a business parking lot on 17th Avenue in Wausau.

During the email exchange police say Thongdara sent a photo of himself. He was located and arrested.

He's charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. He's free on a $1,000 cash bond and will return to court on September 30.

ORIGINAL STORY: Mon 9:37 AM, Sept 23, 2013

Officers in Northeast and central Wisconsin have arrested 15 people in six different counties during a four-day Internet Crimes Against Children sting.

Marathon, Door, Brown, and Outagamie counties took part in the sting aimed at cracking down on potential child sex predators.

"I guess each one is different, and I don't think you really know what to expect," said Door County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Stenzel during an interview with WLUK-TV.

Operation Black Veil II began around 9:00 Wednesday morning at the Door County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators from a number of local agencies go online to Craigslist, posing as either a 15-year-old boy or girl.

The chatters not only post ads looking to attract predators, but also respond to ads posted by those who want to engage in explicit acts with children.

"I responded to an ad from him and he thinks he's talking to a 15-year-old girl, and he wants her to do some sexual acts to him," said Stenzel.

Our first day starts rather slowly. One officer responds to a post from a person looking for sex. He gets a reply back within 10 minutes. He continues to monitor posts and respond to them.

"He didn't say no yet. He just says he doesn't want any trouble," Stenzel said about a response he received.

You would think at 9 a.m., most people would be at work. But the investigators' email inboxes eventually begin to fill up with messages from people desiring to meet up with someone who they think is a child.

"With technology, it really is making it easier for these predators to lure in these younger people and use them for whatever needs they want," said Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel.

The chats in some cases lead to text and even phone conversations.

"I'm not available until noon because that's when mom goes to work," said Stenzel as he typed the words into a cell phone.

By day two of the operation more than 200 contacts are made. That means someone has shown interest in having sex with a child even if it happens or not.

Meanwhile, other investigators are posting ads on Craigslist.

One post reads "I am taking care of my younger brother while our grama is gone. Need to get him experience to be a man. Hit me up if you are clean and discreet." The responses come quickly.

"I'll ask him for a picture in return. I still got three more replies here," said Ashwaubenon Public Safety Officer Aaron Dufek.

Before the ad is flagged and taken down by Craigslist, investigators receive 12 replies in 25 minutes.

Law enforcement officers say the problem of Internet crimes against children isn't going away. And neither are they.

Brown County Sheriff's officials plan to hold a news conference Monday to talk about the investigation and reveal the charges against the suspects.

To read the story in its entirety from WLUK-TV, plus video click here.

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