Police Sting
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Police in Jefferson County are using social media in the hopes of catching online predators. Brookville Police Chief Vince Markle said Operation Predator was created after he sent one of his officers to a training on how to manipulate social media. Markle said the department created a Facebook account of a 15-year-old girl. He said older men in their 50s and 60s started messaging it. "We don't want those type of people in our communities, so the faster we can get them out of our communities and put them where they belong, the better off everyone will be," Markle said. Markle said officers don't message the men first and always make them aware of the girl's age. Through the operation, police have already charged two men, James Moore and Michael Day. Police said both men talked to the police persona about sexual activities and meeting up. They were charged with sexual offenses including criminal solicitation and unlawful contact. "I think it's funny to see their facial expressions when they see a 6'4" male when they think they're talking to a 15-year-old female," Markle said. Markle said it's all about protecting children, but police can only do so much. He asked parents to be more vigilant because predators know how to coerce children. "Pick up your child's phone and look through it," Markle said. "You'll know everything they're doing and everyone they're talking to." Markle said he wants the public to know about the operation and hopes predators will see it and think twice before going online. He said Moore and Day's arrest are just the beginning of Operation Predator and expects filing more charges soon.