It's a scenario that has been hitting the headlines fairly constantly over the past few months; civilians conducting their own undercover stings to catch child predators in their area creating viral videos on YouTube and then turning the evidence over to law enforcement.
This time, the events transpired in Fremont, Ohio.
A group of friends call themselves "Dads Against Predators" and pose as 14-year-old boys and girls on various social media platforms and then wait for the predators to make contact.
One of the dads, Joshua Mundy, said that in the case of Rafael Valadez-Loera, the entire exchange from initial contact to meeting happened all within one hour.
“I’ve caught three people in 24 hours that were here to meet and to take home a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, and I don’t know what they’ve done in the past few years, but in 24 hours that I’ve done this I’ve caught three people,” Mundy said.
His exasperation at the issue is understood, but law enforcement has stated that they are "not just been sitting back and allowing these things to happen." Their concern is that with civilians posing as children, instead of law enforcement officials doing the same, the evidence may not be allowed in a court of law thereby allowing "those that are predatory within our community to walk away from this and continue to do these types of things. And they'll get better at avoiding us," an officer stated during a press conference.
"It can create issues if the person involved is not a law enforcement official or minor child, so at this point and time, cases that come out of privately investigations like this, there is always a fear of significant evidentiary concerns," Acting Sandusky County Prosecutor Zachary Selvey said.
One of the men caught in a Dad's Against Predators video has been arrested and the other two remain under investigation.
39 year old Radael Valadez-Loera, a Mexican national that was within the states legally is facing deportation. According to Kristoffer Grogan, a public affairs officers at the Detroit Border Patrol office, he has violated his immigration status by engaging in criminal activity that endangers public safety.
According to the local ABC affiliate, Valadez-Loera is additionally facing a tampering with evidence charge.
Despite statements by Mundy that the group would continue "catching bad guys," the group's YouTube channel has been removed from the platform.
“I’m just going to continue to do it and make sure that I’m going to do it until nobody else messages me back,” Mundy said.