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Posted on: November 20, 2019

Ten Child Predators Arrested after Operation Vigilant Shepherd

Photo collage with mug shots of arrested suspects

YORK COUNTY, SC (YCSO NEWS) Ten potential child predators have been arrested. For multiple days the York County Sheriff’s Office along with 12 other state and federal law enforcement agencies participated in an online child exploitation investigation called “Operation Vigilant Shepherd”.

The operation took place at several different locations including an undisclosed residence. The York County Sheriff’s Office is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office which work together to track down, identify and prosecute those individuals who prey on children.

This operation was a joint effort between multiple law enforcement agencies across the Carolina's which included FBI, US Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, ICAC, NCIS, North Carolina SBI, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, Bishopville Police Department, and Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office. At any given time, there were 25-40 officers, analyst, and additional staff members working diligently during this operation.  Officers were online in numerous social media applications and were contacted by these suspects.

Ten arrests were made. Five of the arrestees, dubbed as travelers, actually came to the residence or attempted to come to the residence of the operation.

“Taking these type of people off the streets is one of the greatest things law enforcement can do for our community. We want our communities safe, we want our internet safe,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson.

These suspects target children online. More often than not, they have been a hands-on offender at some point with a victim who may or may not have ever come forward.

“The specialized investigators who work these types of crimes care about children and they care about our community," said Sheriff Tolson. “If these suspects had not been identified and arrested talking to an officer, they would likely have been talking to a live child victim.”

Additional suspects are still being identified. Once they are positively identified and located, they will be arrested. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo collage with mug shots of arrested suspects

Arrestees: 

Aaron John Snyder

  • AGE: 34
  • Lake Wylie, SC
  • Occupation: Unemployed 
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / dissemination obscene material to a minor

Albert Luis Cortes

  • AGE: 29
  • Lincolnton, NC
  • Occupation Suit salesman in Huntersville, NC
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted CSC with minor 2nd degree

Jonathan Tyler Hartsell

  • AGE: 32
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Occupation Construction
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted CSC with minor 2nd degree

Quentin Arron Evans

  • AGE: 22
  • Indian Trail, NC
  • Occupation: Security Services
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted CSC with minor 2nd degree

Xanthus Nakia Murdaugh

  • AGE: 44
  • Rock Hill, SC
  • Occupation: Retail Sales
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted CSC with minor 2nd degree
  • ADDITIONAL: Registered sex offender with a conviction in ~1997 child pornography related-charges.

Ballam Justin Alexander

  • AGE: 35
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Occupation: Transportation / trucking professional
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted dissemination of porn to person <18 

Alexander Michael Bowersock

  • AGE: 23
  • Wapakoneta, OH
  • Occupation: Corporal US Marine Corps
  • CHARGE(S): Criminal solicitation of a minor / Attempted dissemination of porn to person <18 / SEM 1st degree ** Awaiting extradition from Quantico, VA.

Jerry Allen George

  • AGE: 29
  • Boiling Springs, SC
  • Occupation: Electrician
  • CHARGE(S): Attempted Promoting Prostitution of a Minor

Steven Bradley Loflin, Sr. 

  • AGE: 51
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Occupation Retired / disabled
  • CHARGE(S): Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor 1st degree

Michael Thomas Bovino 

  • AGE: 38
  • Mooresville, NC
  • Occupation: College Visiting Assistant Professor Davidson, NC.
  • CHARGE(S): Attempted Promoting Prostitution of a Minor 

 

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