Police Arrest 4 In Connection With Abuse Of 2 Boys
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The start of school is around the corner for metro students. Oklahoma City police officials said on Wednesday with the start of school, officers would see an increase of reported child abuse cases.
One case currently under investigation started last December with a metro school counselor and resulted in the arrest of four adults this week. They were accused of child abuse and not reporting the abuse of two elementary age boys.
A concerned school counselor tipped off police to the alleged abuse. According to a report, a 6-year-old student returned from Thanksgiving break with injuries to his face and his 10-year-old brother did not return to class following the break.
“Both had some pretty substantial injuries that nobody could seem to explain,” said Msgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department.
Investigators found the family living at the Red Roof Inn near I-40 and south Meridian Avenue. Court documents indicated the boys’ mother Krista Cox claimed their injuries were self-inflicted during emotional outbursts. Police learned the brothers were diagnosed with autism and intellectual disabilities.
“It’s bad enough when you’ve got a child that’s unable to defend themselves,” said Knight. “Then you throw in its special needs child that has certain disabilities that makes it an even more egregious act.”
Police said there were two other adults living in the hotel rooms besides Cox and her boyfriend Christopher Aucoin.
“As the case evolved, it turned out there were two other people involved,” said Knight. “A parent of the mother of the child and a parent of the boyfriend.”
After combing through multiple Oklahoma Department of Human Services referrals and hospital records for the brothers, investigators determined the injuries were from abuse. They are holding all four adults criminally responsible.
“The children were placed into protective custody,” said Knight. “That’s important to note.”
DHS was contacted for the story to confirm the children were placed in state custody. An agency official said they could not comment on the case due to confidentiality laws.
Irving teacher molested 7-year-old girl, then went to teach in another school, police say
IRVING, TX – A former Irving elementary school teacher has been arrested and accused of molesting one of his students in the second grade during the 2020-21 school year, Irving police said Thursday.
Irving police believe other students may have been sexually abused by the teacher.
Police identified the suspect as 28-year-old Victor Hugo Moreno, who was arrested last week and was released from jail after posting a $15,000 bond.
He faces charges of continuous sex abuse of a young child and improper relationship between student and educator, Irving police said.
The 28-year-old former teacher is accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl who was in the second grade at Townsell Elementary in Irving. Moreno was her teacher.
Irving school district officials received an outcry in the spring semester of the 2021-22 school year.
Moreno resigned from the Irving school district at the end of the 2020-21 school year after failing to meet his certification requirements, Irving police said.
Moreno taught in the Plano school district during the 2021-22 school year and was fired because of a code of conduct violation, police said.
School and police officials are encouraging anyone whose whose child could have interacted with Moreno in the Irving and Plano school districts to talk with their children, family members, and friends to make them aware of Moreno.
If you know of a victim or are a victim, contact the Irving Police Department at 972-273-1010 or call your local police department, or dial 911.
Vicksburg pair indicted on child abuse, porn charges
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A couple whose home was raided by the FBI last week in Vicksburg are accused of sexually abusing two children and creating child porn.
Virgil Chandler Knowles III and Samantha Jean Batts have each been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child. Knowles has also been charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.
Batts was in federal court Tuesday. Knowles’ hearing was rescheduled.
The charges stem from a complaint filed in federal court that alleged 47-year-old Knowles and 35-year-old Batts sexually abused two family members, neither older than 10.
Knowles used to be a custodian and maintenance employee at Vicksburg Community Schools, but had not worked there since 2018, a release from the district said.
Undercover FBI agents discovered Knowles in a private online chat room, where he admitted he abused the children. He also told undercover agents that Batts said she wanted to get “something” to make one of the victims sleep, the complaint says. It says Knowles shared several explicit photos with the agent, some featuring Batts.
FBI was able to locate the couple using Snapchat data and geolocation. Agents raided two homes in Vicksburg on Thursday, leading to the arrests of Knowles and Batts.
46 dead after trailer carrying migrants found in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO, TX – Forty-six people were found dead in and near a tractor-trailer and 16 others were taken to hospitals in a presumed migrant smuggling attempt into the United States, officials in San Antonio said.
It’s among the deadliest tragedies to have claimed thousands of lives of people attempting to cross the U.S. border from Mexico in recent decades. Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck that was parked at a Walmart in San Antonio. In 2003, 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of San Antonio.
South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. Migrants ride in vehicles though Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, from which point they disperse across the United States.
A city worker at the scene on a remote back road in southwest San Antonio was alerted to the situation by a cry for help shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, Police Chief William McManus said. Officers arrived to find a body on the ground outside the trailer and a partially opened gate to the trailer, he said.
Hours later, body bags lay spread on the ground near the trailer as a grim symbol of the calamity. Bodies still remained inside.
Of the 16 taken to hospitals with heat-related illnesses, 12 were adults and four were children, said Fire Chief Charles Hood. The patients were hot to the touch and dehydrated, and no water was found in the trailer, he said.
“They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion,” Hood said. “It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.”
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the 46 who died had “families who were likely trying to find a better life.”
“This is nothing short of a horrific human tragedy,” Nirenberg said.
Those in the trailer were part of a presumed migrant smuggling attempt into the United States, and the investigation was being led by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, McManus said.
Three people were taken into custody, but it was unclear if they were absolutely connected with human trafficking, McManus said.
Big rigs emerged as a popular smuggling method in the early 1990s amid a surge in U.S. border enforcement in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, which were then the busiest corridors for illegal crossings.
Before that, people paid small fees to mom-and-pop operators to get them across a largely unguarded border. As crossing became exponentially more difficult after the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S., migrants were led through more perilous terrain and paid thousands of dollars more.
Heat poses a serious danger, particularly when temperatures can rise severely inside vehicles. Weather in the San Antonio area was mostly cloudy Monday, but temperatures approached 100 degrees.
Some advocates drew a link to the Biden administration’s border policies. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, wrote that he had been dreading such a tragedy for months.
“With the border shut as tightly as it is today for migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, people have been pushed into more and more dangerous routes. Truck smuggling is a way up,” he wrote on Twitter.
Stephen Miller, a chief architect of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, said, “Human smugglers and traffickers are wicked and evil” and that the administration’s approach to border security rewards their actions.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican running for reelection, was blunt in a tweet about the Democratic president: “These deaths are on Biden. They are a result of his deadly open border policies.”
Migrants — largely from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been expelled more than 2 million times under a pandemic-era rule in effect since March 2020 that denies them a chance to seek asylum but encourages repeat attempts because there are no legal consequences for getting caught. People from other countries, notably Cuba, Nicaragua and Colombia, are subject to Title 42 authority less frequently due to higher costs of sending them home, strained diplomatic relations and other considerations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 557 deaths on the southwest border in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, more than double the 247 deaths reported in the previous year and the highest since it began keeping track in 1998. Most are related to heat exposure.
CBP has not published a death tally for this year but said that the Border Patrol performed 14,278 “search-and-rescue missions” in a seven-month period through May, exceeding the 12,833 missions performed during the previous 12-month period and up from 5,071 the year before.
Sexual Predator Sweep In Florida Results In 56 Arrests In ‘Operation Bad Apple’
OSCEOLA COUNTY, FL – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that dozens of arrests have been made in “Operation Bad Apple.”
One such recent victory was won in Florida, where the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office worked with U.S. Marshals in “Operation Bad Apple” to round up and lock up a massive number of sexual predators, arresting 56 in the sweep.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a press release, “The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the United States Marshals conducted Operation Bad Apple, which took place from March 28, 2022 through June 10, 2022. The operation had a primary focus, but was not limited to; sexual offenders and sexual predators who have prior state or federal convictions for productions, transmission, and/or possession of child pornography/sexual performance of a child; transmission of harmful material to a minor; or video voyeurism.”
The press release concluded, “Operation Bad Apple resulted in 56 arrests of sexual offenders and predators in reference to violations of their statutory sex offense restrictions and or new law violations. All arrestees were booked and transported to the Osceola County Jail.”
So, we are thankful their office was able to lock up a number of creeps and deviants, particularly those involved in horrific sexual crimes or activity involving children.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to serving our community and increasing public safety. Anyone with information related to similar incidents, please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222.