ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Authorities arrested two Alabama men based on YouTube sting videos that three Alabama teenagers created with the aim of catching people seeking underage sex.
Bradley Lamar White, 27, and David Scott Fox Jr., 23, both from Jacksonville, were arrested after investigations that began with videos posted online, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement this week.
White was a choir teacher at middle and high schools in Alexandria and is charged with distributing obscene material to a student and having sexual contact with a student. He resigned Wednesday, the statement said.
Fox is charged with electronic solicitation of a child.
Court records weren’t available Friday to show whether either man had a lawyer to speak on his behalf, but both are due in court in December.
Longtime friends Dillon Busby, Cody Waller and Jackson Lewullis, who all are 18, were playing video games and discussing ideas for YouTube videos recently when Busby suggested they try to catch child predators on camera, al.com reported.
They created fake accounts on dating sites and began chatting with people who contacted them, claiming to be ages ranging from 14 to 17.
“We really wanted to stress the fact that we were underage,” Busby told al.com. “So then if the information did go to the cops, (the alleged predator) couldn’t say they didn’t know how old we were.”
Some of the conversations became sexually explicit. The friends later confronted two men who showed up at a Walmart store, capturing conversations with them on video and posting the encounters on a YouTube channel this week. Investigators contacted the teens after seeing the videos and announced the arrests Thursday.
Busby, whose father is a police officer, said officers at the sheriff’s department told them what they did “wasn’t smart,” but they don’t plan to stop making the vidoes.
“We have plans to keep creating and letting the people know who’s out there,” said Waller. “For now, we’re going to stay a little low because this blew up so fast.”