February 28, 2007

Internet-Predator Sting Busts 12

By Robert Mills, The Sun, Lowell, Mass.

Feb. 28--PELHAM -- A multitown task force of police who have spent months trolling the Internet for sexual predators has made 12 more arrests, including a 21-year-old Pelham man who was already busted once last year.

The Southern Hillsboro County Cyber Crimes Task Force arrested 11 other people since August, when it began targeting those who use the Internet to lure minors, and yesterday announced 12 more arrests.

Most notable was that of Adam Koch, 21, of Pelham, who is being held on $50,000 bail after he was arraigned Monday for aggravated felonious sexual assault and felonious sexual assault, police said.

Koch was one of the first people arrested by the task force in August, when he was charged with certain uses of computer services prohibited because police say he appeared for a pre-arranged meeting with a minor.

He was also charged with obscenity for sending live videos of himself engaged in a sexual act, police said.

Yesterday, police said Koch, a former clerk at a Lowell Road convenience store in Hudson, had been arrested again, this time on major felony charges because investigators say he used his computer to establish a relationship with a girl less than 16 years old.

Police arrested him a second time on Saturday, and he was arraigned yesterday in Nashua District Court.

Other recent arrests included those of Daniel Fellows, 21, of Deering; Erie Vanwinkle, 26, of Bretton Woods; Michael Herman, 30, of Manchester; Darryl LaFleur, 30, of Greenville; Eric Blaisdell, 21, of North Haverhill; Michael Danklefs, 31, of Manchester; Rexanider Gato, 24, of Manchester; Christopher Driesse, 36, of Weare; Peter St. Laurent, 47, of Webster; Joel Runt, 24, of Antrim; and Robert Frasier, 22, of Rochester, police said.

All 11 of those individuals were charged with certain uses of computer services prohibited. They were all held on at least $25,000 bail and ordered not to use computers while awaiting trial, police said.

In addition to efforts to arrest those who attempt to lure or have inappropriate conversations with children online, the task force has led assemblies and other educational programs in the towns that take part, which include Pelham, Hudson, and Nashua.

The task force also announced that another of the first men arrested as a result of its operations, Terrance Halter, 20, of Nashua, was convicted of two counts of prohibited uses of a computer on Feb. 9, police said. He has not yet been sentenced.

In addition to the arrests announced yesterday, police said they have developed interest in a number of Internet screen names for individuals that have talked with investigators who pose as minors online. Several of those individuals have displayed pictures of body parts in online conversations, and will likely face charges once they are identified, police said.


To see more of The Sun, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.lowellsun.com.

Copyright (c) 2007, The Sun, Lowell, Mass.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.