Potential child sexual predators ID'd after online bust by Taylor police

Authorities in Taylor have identified three of seven suspects charged with sex crimes after authorities said they talked with police posing as teens online and made plans to meet them for sex.

Taylor Police announced on Wednesday they arrested seven possible child predators after they teamed with Homeland Security for an online sting. Investigators posed as 14- and 15-year-old kids, chatting with adults looking to meet up — and gathering as much detail as possible.

Ryan Davis, 44, Craig Newby, 30, and Austin Sheldon, 24, were all identified by Taylor police on Thursday, one day after authorities announced the bust – which was made in part to traffic cameras.

In a release from Homeland Security, authorities said all three charged with child sexually abusive activity and accosting children for immoral purposes. The HSI said they also identified 15 possible trafficking victims.

"I’m incredibly proud of the team effort for this operation," said HSI Detroit acting Special Agent in Charge Shawn Gibson. "Not only were these teams able to identify and provide victims with services, but they were also able to take some dangerous alleged predators off the streets of southeastern Michigan. These partnerships should serve as an example to the communities we serve of the impactful work we can accomplish when law enforcement works together at every level."

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The HSI said the 15 victims were all adults and the investigation is still ongoing.

"It is alleged that all three defendants charged by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office engaged in chats believing they were in contact with underage youths arranging to meet in person to engage in sex acts," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. "These alleged sexual predators pose a real danger to our community. As a result of the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies working together, these defendants will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

According to Taylor Lt. Jeff Adamisin, part of the sting was for the decoy officers to determine what kind of car the possible suspects were driving.

"The decoy would say 'What kind of car are you arriving in so I know when you get here?' (They’d say) 'Okay I’m arriving in a green pickup truck.' So now we're looking for a green pickup truck," Adamsin said.

Police talked with the predators and told them where to meet up - that’s when the Flock camera system comes into play.

"This system is locating wanted people, bad people, in society. And it’s giving us another set of eyes," said Adamisin.

The Flock system tracks vehicles. Taylor has 50 of these high-tech cameras — and can share info with hundreds of others throughout the state and country.

The system allows police to trace vehicles even with partial plates. According to Adamsin, knowing the color and type of vehicle and partial plate can help narrow down potential suspects.

"Say we know it’s a black pickup truck only, maybe they know it’s a Ford pickup truck that’s black. We can put that search criteria and it will give us images that meets those search criteria that we put in," he said.

The system sorts through — narrowing down vehicles matching the description in real-time. It allowed for police to safely track the predators to a park for the meetup with much less risk.

"We knew this individual was coming from Brighton," said Chief John Blair. "So we could track that vehicle as it headed east on I-96, we were able to track that by looking at the license plate hits. I didn’t have to deploy a six- or eight-man surveillance crew to follow them."