Operation targeting child predators catches Paragould man, several others

PARAGOULD, Ark. – The 14-year-old teen you’re sending inappropriate messages to is really a DTF agent collecting evidence to arrest you.

If any of these suspects had considered that thought, they wouldn’t now be facing serious felony charges for preying on children online.

John Simmons, 49, is claiming he was conducting an investigation of his own when he was caught by the First Judicial District Drug Task Force’s Operation Kandy Krush. Simmons was arrested after exchanging messages with whom he believed to be a 14-year-old. Some of the photos appear to have been exchanged on SnapChat. Police say Simmons sent sexually graphic photos of what he purported to be his genitals.

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Over several days, Simmons discussed meeting up for sex, and even discussed picking the child up from school during lunch and taking her back to Paragould for sex

First Judicial District DTF

It wasn’t really a teen the man was chatting with. It was an undercover DTF agent. Simmons was arrested at his residence in Paragould.

Authorities say Simmons admitted to communicating with the profile and sending sexually graphic material, but stated he was merely conducting his own “investigation” into human trafficking. He never contacted law enforcement.

Simmons is to be charged by the First Judicial District Drug Task Force with Internet Stalking of a Child, 5-27-306, a Class B Felony. He will appear before St. Francis County District Judge Mike Smith at 1 pm today.

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Several others have been apprehended recently as well, as part of the ongoing operation.

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, Garland Williams AKA “TuTu”, 36, of Forrest City, was arrested after allegedly sending what he believed to be a 15 year old female sexually graphic photos of his genitals. Williams asked her to send him sexually graphic photos of her, and offered to rent a hotel room to meet up with the child for the purpose of having sex. He was arrested by a DTF special agent and deputy with the St Francis County Sheriff’s Department. In an interview with investigators, Williams admitted to communicating with the profile and sending the photos, police said. Williams was charged by the Drug Task Force with Internet Stalking of a Child, 5-27-306, a Class B Felony. His bond was set at $100,000 and he made bond that evening.

Tutu

On Monday, April 15, 2019, Jerry Reyes, AKA “Jay”, AKA “JR”, 34, of Forrest City, was arrested after allegedly sending what he believed to be a 15 year old female pornographic videos, discussing sex acts, and talking about meeting up for sex. “If I knew u were like real n not the feds we could,” Reyes messaged. Reyes clarified, “But between everyone else we couldn’t do nothing till u were 18 years old. Legally speaking.” According to Reyes, he is a Latin Kings gang member. He was arrested by the Drug Task Force with the assistance of the St Francis County Sheriff’s Department. Reyes was charged by the Drug Task Force with Internet Stalking of a Child, 5-27-306, a Class B Felony. He will appear in St. Francis County District Court today at 1pm for his first appearance.

Reyes

On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Dustin Spencer Clowers AKA “Richard Dangle”, 35, of Harrisburg, was arrested after allegedly sending what he believed to be a 15 year old female sexually graphic photos of his genitals, and asking for sexually explicit photos from the purported child. He also sent videos of himself performing a sex act and discussed meeting up with the child for the purpose of having sex. He was arrested by a DTF special agent, Wynne PD detective, and deputies with the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Department. Clowers, who is on Probation with the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections (ACC), had outstanding felony warrants in Poinsett County for Failure to Appear on Battery III and Drug Possession charges, as well as a Probation Revocation. Clowers was trespassing and living in a trailer without the owner’s knowledge or permission at the time of his arrest. In an interview with investigators, Clowers admitted to communicating with the profile and sending sexually explicit material. Clowers was charged by the Drug Task Force with Internet Stalking of a Child, 5-27-306, a Class B Felony out of Woodruff County. More charges are expected in Poinsett County. He is currently being held in the Poinsett County Jail.

Dangle

19 have been arrested as part of the operation, thus far.

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