9 arrested in child predator sweep - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

9 arrested in child predator sweep

Posted: Updated: April 24, 2013 01:54 PM

BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Agents with the Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force have arrested 9 people as part of an undercover investigation targeting child predators across southern Louisiana, announced Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

"Louisiana's ICAC Task Force is committed to working tirelessly to pursue those who exploit and victimize our children through the Internet," said Attorney General Caldwell.  "This latest roundup is just another example of the Task Force's outstanding efforts in the fight against child predators."

The Louisiana ICAC Task Force was established in 2001 by the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.   The Louisiana ICAC Task Force works with hundreds of affiliate local, parish, state and federal law enforcement agencies to prevent online sexual exploitation of children.

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect children, the Louisiana ICAC Task Force, in conjunction with the Attorney General's High Technology Crime Unit, has arrested 482 suspected child predators and conducted 1,167 ICAC presentations and community outreach programs attended by more than 144,000 individuals since 2006.  The ICAC Task Force has also completed more than 4,000 forensic examinations and assisted in 482 successful prosecutions throughout Louisiana.

Louisiana ICAC agents at the Attorney General's Office routinely partner with sheriff's offices, police departments, and other agencies in proactive undercover operations, specifically targeting online predators that exploit children through child pornography and solicit children for sexually explicit conduct.  

The Mission of the Louisiana ICAC Task Force is to:

  • Catch and prosecute individuals who use the Internet to entice children to meet them for sexual purposes.
  • Investigate and prosecute those who possess, manufacture and distribute child pornography.
  • Educate the public about online dangers to children.

As the lead agency, the Louisiana Attorney General's Office has been an integral part of the ICAC network by forging and maintaining close working relationships with state and federal law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Service, Louisiana State Police, and numerous local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.  Today, the Louisiana ICAC Task Force is comprised of 171 law enforcement agencies.

The following individuals were arrested in the roundup:

  • John Andrew Becnel, 22, of 42391 Hwy 621, Gonzales, charged with 20 counts of pornography involving juveniles; booked into Ascension Parish Prison
  • Michael Wesley, 57, of 22945 Jade Drive, Plaquemines, charged with 11 counts of pornography involving juveniles; booked into Iberville Parish Prison
  • Bradley Bourque, 32, of 13535 Devall Road, Baton Rouge, charged with 25 counts of pornography involving juveniles; booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison
  • Jude Stelly, 29, of 1094 Mustang Circle, St. Martinville, charged with 10 counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles; 10 counts of distributing pornography involving juveniles; booked into St. Martin Parish Prison
  • Tony J. Latiolais, 46, of 1119 Clifton Angelle, Breaux Bridge, charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile and computer-aided solicitation of a minor; booked into St. Martin Parish Prison
  • Joshua Villa, 33, of 101 Janin Road, Broussard, charged with aggravated incest; 20 counts of possessing pornography involving juveniles; 9 counts of distributing pornography involving juveniles, 5 counts of producing pornography involving juveniles; booked into Lafayette Parish Prison
  • Chad Sonnier, 32, of 853 E. Venable St., Church Point, charged with pornography involving juveniles; booked into Acadia Parish Prison
  • Lucas Wimberly, 27, of 648 Arsene Lebleu Rd., Lake Charles, charged with 10 counts of possession of pornography involving juveniles; 5 counts of distributing pornography involving juveniles; booked into Calcasieu Parish Prison
  • Robert Hawes, 58, of 615 W. Napoleon Street, Sulphur, charged with 16 counts of pornography involving juveniles; booked into Calcasieu Parish Prison

Additional arrests are possible as the investigations continue.

Assisting the Attorney General's Office with these arrests were the Attorney General's High Technology Crime and Fugitive Apprehension Units, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Service, Louisiana State Police, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, New Orleans Police Department, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, West Baton Rouge Probation and Parole, Baton Rouge Police Department, Slidell Police Department, St. Martin Sheriff's Office, Bossier City Marshall's Office, Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office, Iberville Sheriff's Office, Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office, St. Landry Sheriff's Office, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, and Cameron Parish Sheriff's Office.

To report suspected cases of child exploitation, contact the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-256-4506.

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