|Updated: 11/12/2012 11:24 am
||Published: 11/10/2012 10:46 pm
Across the nation, law enforcement is seeing more predators going after teens.
In Cherokee County, investigators are gaining ground but they're working with a small department and social media is making the job tougher.
Investigators are going after as many as they can. Saturday, they set up to meet with a 23-year-old man who was messaging what he believed to be a 14-year-old on Meetme.com. The suspect, whose name we’re withholding, was really talking to Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder. They had been in close communication since August.
“I'm so excited to see you, hold you and kiss you with a smiley face," said Snyder, as he read one of the messages sent by the suspect.
Investigators decided to arrest the man because they say was becoming more persistent about meeting up.
"Being a child predator (used to be) a hard job,” said Cherokee County District Attorney Mike Moore, talking how times have changed since social media became a big thing. “They had to do it in person, hang out at the school; I mean they were very visible. Now, they feel safe. They’re in their own home."
Moore and Snyder are both with the Cherokee County Internet Crimes against Children Unit. They told FOX23 the suspect was also a victim of a child predator.
The man was getting help but investigators say he was ignoring the advice.
"I think the message is, if you're going to get online and you're going to talk to young children and you're a predator, good chance is we're going to be there," said Moore.
The man is charged with lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16.