Local law enforcement agencies conduct undercover stings during pandemic

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With more people, especially children, using the internet now more than ever due to the pandemic, the state Attorney General’s Office says more suspected child predators are also logging on.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the state have one overriding message they want to share with parents when it comes to protecting their children from online predators and that’s to, “Be educated, be aware and report.”

“Be involved with your children,” said Lt. Nicholas Sanders with APD. “I know it can be a little difficult and I know you don’t want to be invading their space, but be involved. Understand what they’re on, understand any platform that has an online nexus can be utilized for nefarious reasons.”    

Over the weekend, APD and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office conducted two different undercover stings involving child solicitation. That resulted in the arrests of two men, 31-year-old Patrick Sanchez and 30-year-old David Adame.

Anthony Maez, the Commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with the AG’s office said so far this month alone they’ve made at least a half a dozen arrests for child exploitation or child enticement. He also said they’ve nearly doubled the average amount of tips they receive regarding online predators. They now receive about 150 to 200 tips per month.

“I think what predators need to understand is that even though they think they’re anonymous, they’re not,” said Maez. “And we have a team of law enforcement in our state and throughout the country that are looking out for our children.”    

Maez couldn’t get into the details of how they conduct these stings. But did want to stress how important it is to report any suspicious activity.

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