The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday the arrests of four men accused of attempting to have sexual relations with someone they thought was a 13-year-old girl.
Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said the first arrest actually took place on Dec. 10 and the last one occurred Tuesday.
All four men were arrested at a location in Spotsylvania where they had been lured to meet with a girl they had been chatting with online. The girl was actually an undercover detective, authorities said.
“These individuals believed they were talking to children and were going to have a sexual encounter with a child,” Sheriff Roger Harris said. “Thankfully, they were actually communicating with undercover law enforcement.”
The investigation was conducted under a state-funded grant designed to catch child predators. The grant provided overtime hours and special equipment for investigators, authorities said.
Spotsylvania investigators worked with the Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force during the operation.
Matthew T. Arrington, 22, of Fredericksburg; Roy Lester Brown, 44, of Richmond; Derrian Lewis, 27, of Quantico; and Francis “Frank” Vashro, 50, of Stafford are all charged with taking indecent liberties with a child and electronic solicitation of a minor.
Brown was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon and Lewis with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Vashro, who was arrested Tuesday, is also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
All four are being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.