HomeOregon NewsSix suspects arrested in Oregon after month-long operation against online child exploitation

Six suspects arrested in Oregon after month-long operation against online child exploitation

Oregon – The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) led a month-long undercover operation that resulted in the arrest of six suspects across Oregon in a concerted effort to combat online exploitation of children. The operation, which drew on resources from law enforcement agencies and task forces, aimed to identify and apprehend individuals using the internet to engage in illicit activities with minors.

SOCET led the operation, which involved undercover law enforcement officers posing as minors on the internet. These officers engaged with suspects who, despite being made aware of the “child’s” age, proceeded to send sexually explicit messages, photos, and express desires for sexual encounters.

The meticulous and dangerous nature of this undercover work required a significant deployment of resources and coordination among various law enforcement agencies and support staff. Contributors to this critical operation included the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshals Service, Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Oregon State Police (OSP), and several other local police departments and task forces.

The first arrest occurred on January 30th, marking the beginning of a series of apprehensions that spanned several weeks and involved individuals from various locations across Oregon. 29-year-old Gabriel Julian Harrison-Swinden from White City was apprehended for attempting to engage in sexual activities with a minor. He was charged with both first- and second-degree online sexual corruption of a child, among other charges, and is currently being held in Jackson County Jail.

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On the same day, Kelly Patrick Ramsey, a 57-year-old from Central Point, was arrested under similar circumstances. Ramsey’s charges included multiple counts of online sexual corruption of a child and luring a minor. Like Harrison-Swinden, Ramsey was booked into the Jackson County Jail.

The operation continued into the next month, leading to the arrest of Steven Eugene Fitzgerald Buckner from Tigard on February 3. Buckner, 33, faced federal charges for his attempts to coerce and entice a minor online, resulting in his booking in the Jackson County Jail on a federal hold.

Later in the month, on February 27th, 25-year-old Cayden James Vasquez of Medford was taken into custody as he tried to meet with a juvenile for sex. Facing charges similar to the previous arrests, Vasquez was also booked in the Jackson County Jail.

The investigative efforts extended into March, with Andrew P. Jones, 41, from Milwaukie, being arrested on the 12th with assistance from the Milwaukie Police Department. Charged with second-degree online sexual corruption of a child and luring a minor, Jones was booked in the Clackamas County Jail awaiting transport to Jackson County Jail.

The following day, SOCET investigators apprehended 66-year-old Steven Charles Newstrom in Redmond. Assisted by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Newstrom’s arrest on charges of online sexual corruption and luring a minor added to the list of individuals targeted by this operation.

This collaborative effort not only brought to light the disturbing reality of online child exploitation but also highlighted the importance of community vigilance and cooperation in protecting the most vulnerable members of society. Investigators believe the suspects may have other victims and are urging anyone who may have information to come forward and call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333 or their local law enforcement agency.

Orion Hargrove


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