Multiple North Country men charged with attempted rape after trying to exploit kids online
Photo courtesy of state police.
State police said they charged 10 people, including several from Northern New York, following an operation targeting individuals attempting to exploit children online.Investigators from the New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force/Computer Crime Unit, Department of the Army Criminal Investigative Division, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an operation targeting those attempting to exploit children online. The operation began in September of 2022.
As a result of the operation, ten individuals were arrested as part of the multi-day operation and subsequently prosecuted by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and/or the Army JAG Corps.
New York State Police arrested the following individuals for second-degree attempted rape, class “D’ felony:
• Rene L. St. Pierre, age 54 from Ogdensburg, NY
• Brian T. LaPlatney, age 29 from Harrisville, NY
• Aimin Jiang, age 34 from Watertown, NY
• David L. Eads, age 51 Brownville, NY
• Michael J. Steria, age 49 from Carthage, NY
• John W. Brown, age 47 from Chaumont, NY
• Travis R. Petrey, age 35 from Barbourville, KY
Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division cases handled by CID and JAG due to the suspects being active-duty soldiers:
• Jonas Santaella was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and attempted pandering
• Devir Walker was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child
• Aaron Alonzo Vazquez was charged with attempted sexual assault of a child and pandering
Troopers said the mugshot photos are being released due to the possibility of more victims coming forward.
In the past, Operations such as this have led to the discovery of additional victims at the hands of these offenders. If you or anyone you know is a victim of online enticement, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber tip line (877) 474-KIDS, The New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, or The New York State Police Computer Crime Unit in your area https://troopers.ny.gov/internet-crimes-against-children.