SARALAND, Ala. (WALA) - An undercover sex sting operation has led to the arrests of several men in Mobile County for soliciting juveniles for sex.
The Saraland Police Department Criminal Investigation Division launched a 15 day Internet Crimes Against Children investigation on June 26.
Investigators said they disguised themselves and engaged in conversations with five men and
signed warrants on 22 felony sex crime charges.
On Wednesday, August 7 Saraland Police Department Criminal Investigation Division arrested three of the five individuals on charges stemming from the investigation.
Suspects Robert Wilson, Christopher Patterson and Brian Smith are all in jail.
Police said they're waiting for Antonio Blackmon, and Randall Scott to turn themselves in.
Some of the charges include promoting prostitution, traveling to meet a child for sex and electronic solicitation of a child.
"Our goal for it was to find individuals who were actively seeking to sexually exploit children under the age of 16," said Cpl. James Morton with the Saraland Police Department.
Morton said there are a number of ways sexual predators try to find children through mediums like e-mail, social media sites and cell phones.
"There are individuals out there who are actively and aggressively seeking children of a very young age like a newborn all the way to that of 15 years old to engage in sexual activity with," he said.
Investigators said the men are not only online, but they're in our neighborhoods.
Ray Harper lives near suspect Christopher Patterson who's facing five sex crime charges.
Harper said he has three grandchildren and four great grandchildren who come to his house and play.
"Since I found out, I will try to do something about it," he said.
Police said often times, parents think their children are talking to a friend or loved one when in reality they're talking to a sexual predator.
"Know the passwords, user names of any and all accounts they have. That way they can watch and monitor their children," Morton said.
Saraland police said they were able to catch the men in their undercover sting before the men found a real child.
Christopher Scott Patterson 44, was arrested and charged with two counts of traveling to meet a child for sex, two counts of electronic solicitation of a child for sex and one count of third-degree prostitution
Brian Scott Smith 44, was arrested and charged with two counts of traveling to meet a child for sex, two counts of electronic solicitation of a child for sex, two counts of transmitting obscene material to a child and two counts of attempting to possess child pornography.
Robert Dewayne Wilson, 36 was arrested and charged with two counts of traveling to meet a child for sex and two counts of electronic solicitation of a child for sex.
The Saraland Police Department said they have active felony warrants issued on two men who are expected to turn themselves in.
Antonio Dekarlos Blackmon, 22, is wanted on the charges of one count of traveling to meet a child for sex and one count of the electronic solicitation of a child for sex.
Randall Jake Scott 26, is wanted on the charges of one count of traveling to meet a child for sex and one count of the electronic solicitation of a child for sex and one count of attempting to possess child pornography.
Since 2012, police said they've taken 35 people off the street who were trying to have sex with children.
If anyone knows of their whereabouts they are encouraged to contact the Saraland Police Department at (251) 675-5331.
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