13 people arrested in child exploitation investigation
Thirteen men who arranged through social media platforms to meet what they thought were children between the ages of 13 and 15 for sex have been arrested, Rhode Island State Police announced Thursday.
The men were arrested last Friday and Saturday, police said. Seven have Rhode Island addresses, and six are from Massachusetts.
All are charged with indecent solicitation of a child. Many are also charged with electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor, and one faces a cocaine possession charge.
Undercover detectives with the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force used 16 different social media applications and online classified ads to communicate with the suspects, police said.
The suspects believed they were communicating with 13- to 15-year-old children, both boys and girls, and were arrested when they showed up for a meeting at a predetermined location. Several more arrests possible, police said.
All have been arraigned.