Three friends, all 18, armed with a video camera and burner phone, set out to catch a child predator for their YouTube channel named Hive vs Predator.
Jackson Lewullis graduated recently, and Cody Waller and Dillon Busby are seniors this year. They have reported that their idea was hatched earlier this month while they were playing video games and discussing ideas for YouTube videos.
They reported that they set up about a dozen fake accounts across several social media platforms including Grindr and Tinder where, once the account was created, they lowered the age listed. They stated that they created accounts listing their age as between 14 and 17 years old. Then they waited.
It didn't take long.
“We honestly expected it to take a lot longer than it actually did,” Waller told Al.com. “It’s illegal, so we thought they’d be more cautious.”
They received some very graphic texts including images from an individual they identified by a reverse number search as 27 year old Bradley Lamar White who turned out to be a music teacher for a local middle school and high school. According to the video, as soon as he saw the camera, he walked away from them.
They were careful to screen shot everything and then decided it was time to set up a meeting. They chose a Walmart late in the night as the location.
That night, White was actually the second individual they met at that Walmart. The first was David Scott Fox Jr., 23, who was there to meet what he believed was a 14 year old from Grindr. He was willing to speak with the trio and before the video ended, promised them that he would never try to contact a child again.
By Thursday night, a matter of days after the teens uploaded the videos to You Tube, the Calhoun County sheriff’s office arrested both individuals.
White was charged with distribution of obscene material to a student and school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19. His bond was set at $6,000 per charge and his court date was scheduled for December 10th. Sheriff Matthew Wade stated that White had resigned from his position at Alexandria High School on Tuesday.
Fox was charged with electronic solicitation of a child. His bond was set at $30,000 and his court date has been scheduled for December 9th.
While officers are glad to have two more predators off of the streets, there is always the real concern not only for public safety, but for the possibility of interfering with or jeopardizing an investigation.