Thursday, October 4, 2007

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Texas Attorney General Arrests 14 Sex Offenders for Illegally Using MySpace.com

DALLAS – Investigators with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes and Fugitive Units arrested 14 previously convicted sex offenders who illegally created profiles on MySpace.com. After receiving a subpoena from Attorney General Abbott earlier this year, MySpace.com provided investigators with a list of registered sex offenders who use the popular social networking site.

“These arrests are a stark reminder for parents whose children use social networking sites,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Each of the 14 convicted sex offenders was arrested for illegally using MySpace.com to establish an online presence. All Texans must remain vigilant about dangers posed by online sex predators.”

Attorney General Abbott added: “By sharing a user profile database with law enforcement, MySpace.com is providing critical information to law enforcement. Other social networking sites should follow MySpace.com’s lead, partner with law enforcement, and help protect their online users from criminals who use the Internet to prey on children.”

Dallas MySpace parole violator arrests

News Conference Video
Troy Baker
Troy Baker

Video of Baker's arrest
Michael Barnette
Michael Barnette

Video of Barnette's arrest
James Boyd
James Boyd

Video of Boyd's arrest
Michael Calloway
Michael Calloway

Video of Calloway's arrest
Daniel Marcotte
Daniel Marcotte

Video of Marcotte's arrest

In September, Cyber Crimes and Fugitive investigators arrested the following previously convicted sex offenders who violated parole or probation requirements that specifically prohibit them from using the Internet:

• Kevin Donald Sink, 57, arrested Sept. 10 in Houston; convicted in Wood County in 1995 of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
• Willie James Byrd, 50, arrested Sept. 10 in Houston; convicted in Harris County in 1986 of aggravated sexual assault.
• Anthony Ray Gaines, 48, arrested Sept. 11 in Houston; convicted in Dallas County in 1985 of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another offense (rape).
• Ollie Whitchet, 41, arrested Sept. 10 in Houston; convicted in Harris County in 1989 of sexual assault.
• Robert Silva, 50, arrested Sept. 11 in Houston; convicted in Leon County in 1996 of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
• Servando Olivarez, 42, arrested Sept. 11 in Houston; convicted in Harris County in 2000 of sexual assault of a child.
• Troy Benton Baker, 27, arrested Sept. 6 in Gladewater; convicted in Wisconsin in 1998 of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
• Michael Ray Barnette, 47, arrested Sept. 5 in Dallas; convicted in Tarrant County in 1992 of driving while intoxicated and public lewdness.
• James William Boyd, 47, arrested Sept. 5 in Fort Worth; convicted in Tarrant County in 1984 of aggravated sexual assault.
• Mike Edward Calloway, 41, arrested Sept. 5 in Haltom City; convicted in Tarrant County in 1997 of indecency with a child by sexual contact.
• Daniel Joseph Marcotte, 46, arrested Sept. 6 in Arlington; convicted in Tarrant County in 1995 of sexual assault of a child.
• Raul Roy Flores, Jr., 32, arrested Sept. 12 in Conroe; convicted in Harris County in 1997 of sexual assault.
• Priscilla Ambriz, 27, arrested Sept. 19 in San Antonio; convicted in Bexar County in 1993 of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
• David Waller McDaniels, 41, arrested Sept. 18 in Sunrise Beach Village; convicted in Harris County in 1984 of indecent exposure.

Houston MySpace parole violator arrests
Kevin Sink
Kevin Sink

Video of Sink's arrest
Willie Byrd
Willie Byrd

Video of Byrd's arrest
Anthony Gaines
Anthony Gaines

Video of Gaines' arrest
Ollie Whitchet
Ollie Whitchet

Video of Whitchet's arrest
Robert Silva
Robert Silva
Servando Olivarez
Servando Olivarez
Raul Flores, Jr.
Raul Flores, Jr.

In May, the Texas Attorney General subpoenaed MySpace.com that forced the network to release subscriber information of all registered sex offenders who established online member profiles. As a result, MySpace.com provided Attorney General Abbott with data from Sentinel Safe, a database of information on registered sex offenders that the network compiled to verify the identities of their users. Investigators immediately launched the nation’s first large-scale crackdown on offenders using the site, arresting seven previously convicted sex offenders who had set up online profiles.

Attorney General Abbott has repeatedly pressed MySpace.com and other social networking sites to implement definitive safety measures to protect their young users from sexually explicit images and unwanted sexual advances. Since the push from Attorney General Abbott and other attorneys general, MySpace.com has taken steps to improve safety on its site, including screening profiles for inappropriate content and making certain profiles private.

Since taking office, Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he created the Cyber Crimes Unit, which protects children from online sexual exploitation. The Cyber Crimes Unit and the Fugitive Unit, which locates sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined to arrest more than 600 sex offenders. Cyber Crimes Unit investigators also have traveled to schools and communities statewide to offer educational cyber safety programs.

In May 2006, Attorney General Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention to establish an ICAC Task Force. The Texas Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force is one of almost 50 federally funded task forces across the country dedicated to this project.

For more information on Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sex predators, visit the Attorney General's Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.