Arapahoe County sheriff: Both men wanted for luring kids online for sex are in custody

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Two men who were wanted for allegedly luring children online for sex in Arapahoe County have been apprehended. About 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said one of the men — 31-year-old Jesus Chavez — had been arrested. He is the man wearing a black shirt in the picture. The other man, 32-year-old Michael Ryan Berryhill, was arrested Wednesday morning. He is being held without bond. “The two people we were looking for met who they believed was a 14-year-old girl online and then went outside of online app they were on to text [message]. It very quickly it became about sex. They wanted to meet the 14-year-old girl for sexual activity, sent nude photos of themselves, requested nude photos of the girl when in fact, it was an officer they were speaking to,” said investigator Jeff Hines with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children’s Unit. Over the past six months alone, investigators with the unit have arrested more than 60 people who have been using the internet for purposes of sex. It’s not clear if the two men are related, wanted for the same case or if they have been working separately.

Authorities said the case is a good reminder for parents that there are people preying on your children and to be extra vigilant.

“We encourage parents to go through [the] friend list and not let them follow. If you don’t know them, it could be a stranger. It could be anything from Fortnite to even Words with Friends — you can connect with someone in a chat. There seems to be messaging or chat in most of the games that are out there. We would want parents to talk to their kids about the dangers and have a look at their phones once in a while,” investigator Mike Gansey said.

Investigators say the men have been trying to lure kids in chat rooms and games sites and other popular places kids like to hang out online.

“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. There are so many predators out there, whether it’s online, in parks, with the online applications and websites, it is so easy for an adult to get in contact with a child. Call me a pessimist, it’s never going to be completely safe for kids to be on their devices. There are so many of them out there that children are constantly being barraged with this sort of thing. Questions [include]: What’s your name? What are you wearing? Have you ever had sex before? You’re so cute, you’re so pretty, what do you like to do with a guy, do you mind older? It’s just constant,” Hines said.

Tips for parents are available online.

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