South Florida Police Use Social Networks to Catch Child Sex Offenders
In the span of two days, Boynton Beach Police arrested two men on child solicitation charges last month.
The first suspect arrested was Eric Paul Vanderlinde, 28. He’s facing charges of computer pornography-child pornography, transmission of harmful material to a minor, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana under 20 grams. The second suspect is Scott Blake, 47, the former principal at Polo Park Middle School in Wellington. Blake was arrested after he allegedly tried to meet for sex with an undercover officer, who he thought was a 15-year-old boy .
Both men met the undercover detective via a ‘social network.’ Neither report details which ‘social network’ was used.
“We’re not releasing that information. Doing so would compromise other investigations,” said Public Information Officer Stephanie Slater.
It appears though from the arrest reports the social network in question is a mobile phone application since both mention the suspects having an iPhone on them at the time of their arrests. Paul’s report also reads that “Eric continued to chat through the social network by using an application on his iPhone.”
Unlike Blake, Paul did not attempt to meet the detective. Instead, he sent two nude photographs, one of his penis and the other of his butt. The detective then called Paul’s cell phone — Paul engaged in phone sex with the officer.
“That’s two arrests in two days of men trolling the Internet to prey on young boys,” Slater told the Sun-Sentinel. “Thanks to the tremendous work of Boynton Beach Police Detective Charles Ramos, these sexual predators will no longer be a threat to children.”
According to Ramos’ LinkedIn profile, he’s been with the Boynton Beach Police since 2000 and before that he was detective with the City of Boca Raton.