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Seven snared in child porn sting

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region

An undercover online investigation has resulted in seven men being charged with felonies involving criminal offenses against children.

The charges were brought by the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, which has been investigating “Internet predators who were stalking children in web chat rooms and other sites for the purpose of luring the victims into lewd encounters or worse,” said Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Sheriff’s Office.

He said that the seven men face charges involving in criminal behavior aimed at children in Spotsylvania. On Friday the Sheriff’s Office released the following names and counts:

Nicholas Leonard Woods, 23, of Fredericksburg is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Stephen Anthony Danowski, 44, of Ashburn is charged with two counts of attempted indecent liberties and two counts of electronic solicitation of a minor.

Phillip Steven Locker, 27, of Petersburg is charged with one count of attempted indecent liberties and one count of electronic solicitation of a minor.

Shawn Maurice Lubell, 26, of Watha, N.C.; Jerry Lynn Reese, 56, of Ringgold; Haden Conrad, 32, of Chesapeake; Patrick Darlington, 40, of Strasburg, all charged with electronic solicitation of a minor.

Pearce said the investigations are continuing.

“These suspects pose a serious threat to our young people and this [cyber crimes] unit represents our continued commitment to keeping the citizens of our community safe from such individuals,” said Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris.

He said this unit has been a focal point of the criminal investigative division since he took office last year.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

 

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