The Caldwell County Sheriffs Office said Friday that three men have been charged with crimes involving minors as part of its work with the Internet Crimes against Children Task force.
In each case, the minors were contacted through social media sites and solicited for sexual acts, officials said.
The investigation resulted from what authorities say is a growing trend of “abuse towards minors through social media.”
Brian Scott Garrison, 29, of Statesville, was arrested on May 18 and charged with solicitation of a child under 16 by electronic device for sexual purposes and appearing at the meeting place, the sheriff’s office said.
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Garrison traveled to Caldwell County to meet a juvenile, officials said, and was taken to the county detention center under $100,000 secured bond.
Shea Andrew Tucker, 29, of Hickory, was arrested on June 16 and charged with solicitation of a child under 16 by electronic device for sexual purposes and appearing at the meeting place, as well as disseminating obscenity, according to authorities.
Officials said that Tucker also traveled into the county to meet a juvenile and was taken to the detention center under $50,000 secured bond.
Carl Dean Shook, 22, of Newton, has been arrested twice since May, the sheriff’s office said.
Shook was arrested on May 18 and charged with solicitation of a child under 16 by electronic device for sexual purposes and appearing at the meeting place, as well as driving while his license was revoked, officials said.
Shook was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond after traveling into the county to meet a juvenile, the sheriff’s office said.
Shook was arrested Thursday while out on bond and charged with disseminating obscenity to a child under 13, according to authorities.
Sheriff Alan Jones asked parents to monitor their kid’s online activities; know the passwords to their child’s email and social media accounts; regularly review contact lists and smartphone and computer contents, such as photos and texts; as well as utilize parental controls and limit the amount of personal information attached to their child’s profile.
Every incident of inappropriate conduct toward kids should be reported to law enforcement, Jones said.
Offenders can be reported to Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-758-2324 or online at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website.