Saline County deputies arrested Kevin Jones, 30, as part of an Aug. 9 sting to catch Internet predators. Jones drove from Calico Rock to Benton to meet a 13-year-old girl who he believed to be home alone, said Captain Jason Massey of the Saline County Sheriff's Department.
The 13-year-old girl was actually a detective with the Saline County Sheriff's Office, Massey said. He said detectives are trained to type like teenagers and hang out at chat sites frequented by teenagers. He said they are trained to build a case and make arrests when necessary.
The detectives never initiate the conversations with the suspects, Massey said. "They chat with other people and get hit by these folks (the predators)," Massey said. He said predators tend to graduate to graphic conversation fast.
"Predators monitor sites that children are on," Massey said. He said the suspects will usually arrange to meet a child very quickly, sometimes in less than an hour.
"A lot of these these folks have done it before and have successfully been to a house," Massey said.
Besides law enforcement, four Little Rock television stations showed up to record the arrests. "This is a way of letting people know these people have these tendencies," he said.
Massey said he hopes the stings will become a deterrent for predators who seek children on the Internet. He hopes being unsure whether the person is a 13-year-old girl or a police detective will help prevent the crimes.
Jones is charged with Internet stalking of a child, a class C felony. He could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Jones was released from the Saline County Jail Aug. 11 after posting a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 28. He will not face any charges in Izard County.