ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Authorities say two men in separate investigations tried to meet underage girls for sex on Easter Sunday.
The First Judicial District Drug Task Force (DTF) posted the details about the arrests of Kevin Waldrep, 24, of Wynne and Jason Lawrence, 35, of Forrest City on their Facebook page.
In Waldrep's case, the suspect was in contact with who he thought was two different underage girls on social media.
He reportedly discussed moving to Florida with the 14-year-old girl, even going so far as to say the girl could finish high school near Miami.
Waldrep, according to the DTF, also discussed the possibility of being "friends with bennies." He also sent asking for sexually explicit photos and sent five of his own to the girl.
When asked about meeting the girl, Waldrep asked the girl if she had a friend. She said she did and that she too was 14. Waldrep reportedly tried to make contact with the girl.
Waldrep told the first girl to tell his friend both of the girls were 20. Then, Waldrep and a friend drove from Wynne to a truck stop in St. Francis County to "pick up the girls for a night of sex and drugs at [Waldrep's] place."
Waldrep was arrested after arriving at the truck stop. His friend was not charged because investigators said "he was apparently unwitting."
During an interview with Waldrep, investigators stated he did admit to having contact with a teen girl, asking for, and sending lewd photos. Also, the man said he was attempting to meet because he thought the person was "some pervert on the other side and I was coming here to see what is what, because, if it was, I was gonna confront the dude because I thought it was some bullcrap to lure people in."
Investigators charged Waldrep with two counts of internet stalking of a child, a felony. He is in the St. Francis County Jail expected to appear in St. Francis County District Court on Wednesday.
In Lawerence's case, the DTF stated the man sent what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl a photo of his erect genitals. He reportedly described how he wanted to "perform oral sex and other sex acts on the child."
Lawrence, who was staying at the Regency Inn in Forrest City, reportedly tried to meet the child for sex near the Broadway Cinema. He was arrested and told officers it was the second time he tried to meet the girl.
He admitted to authorities that he was in contact with the underage female and that he sent her sexually explicit messages.
Lawrence is in the St. Francis County Jail charged with felony internet stalking of a child. He's expected to be in St. Francis County District Court on Wednesday.
DTF Enforcement Director Dale Arnold stated in the post, "These individuals are trolling social media sites like they would troll your neighborhood looking for innocents to take advantage of. These are not victimless crimes simply because no victim was sexually assaulted or injured. The DTF will continue to be proactive in conducting these types of investigations."
Deputies with the St. Francis County Sheriff's Office and officers with the Palestine Police Department aided in the arrests.