Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

April 20, 2013

Sex sting nets 20 arrests

Valdostan, Pavo man arrested in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested 20 individuals, including a Valdosta man and a Pavo resident, during an operation earlier this month called April Fools.

Between April 10-15, 16 suspects were arrested on sex-related charges, while the other four were arrested on drug charges.

Throughout the week, between 50 and 60 undercover officers posed as 12-, 13- and 14-year-old children online, steering those arrested to a predetermined location. When they arrived, they were arrested and charged.

Samuel R. Bowers, 24, of Valdosta, was arrested at 1:05 a.m. April 14, according to an arrest/probable cause affidavit provided by the Tallahassee police. The affidavit lists sexual and drug charges against Bowers. Justin Bates, 21, of Pavo, reportedly provided a photograph of himself during the online conversation, according to a separate probable cause affidavit. That affidavit lists sexual charges against Bates.

“Any time you can get someone off the street committing crimes against children, it’s a good thing,” Tallahassee Police Department Officer Dave Northway said. “We’re going to continue to aggressively try to wipe out these types of crimes.” A similar ICAC sex sting operation was held last year, which was also “very successful,” Northway said.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of the State Attorney, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gainesville Police Department, the Pensacola Police Department, the St. Johns Sheriff’s Office, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office all participated in the operation.

Text Only
Local News
  • 140417-Wiregrass003.jpg Wiregrass learns through play

    For three years, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has hosted its Wired Up! event to engage students, faculty and staff in a fun but educational activity day.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • rain.jpg More spills? Valdosta braces for more rain

    In the past four weeks, Valdosta has experienced four major rain events that dumped more than three to four inches of rain on the area per incident.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140117-Scott_SGMAC-001.jpg Moody in running for Afghan pilot mission

    Moody Air Force Base is one of three military bases being considered for a temporary mission to train Afghan pilots next year, Rep. Austin Scott told the South Georgia Military Affairs Council Thursday.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City: Most overflows stopped

    The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416-gov_deal002.jpg Signed into law

    Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2 charged in N.C. kidnapping

    Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.

    April 17, 2014

  • VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday

    Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results