ELOY, AZ — The Eloy Police Department says they've arrested two Valley men accused of trying to lure minors for sex. Officers credit an online group - aimed at exposing sexual predators- for leading them to the suspects.
Truckers Against Predators, led by Anthony Greene, posted several live videos on the group's Facebook page last week, streaming an encounter with two different men.
One of the men, 55-year-old Brian Hill, Greene says traveled from Mesa to Eloy to meet a 14-year-old girl. The girl, however, was a decoy played by a member of the group.
Greene confronted Hill at the Petro Gas Station off S Sunland Gin Road and Highway 84.
"We just by happen chance had two officers, a sergeant, and a corporal, getting gas a the local truck stop," said Chris Vasquez, Eloy's Chief of Police.
Vasquez says Greene flagged down his officers and provided them with evidence including chat logs between Hill and the decoy, as well as photos he sent to the woman posing as a minor.
“Some of the pictures were so brazen," he added. "How many times prior to these two cases were these two individuals successful?"
Vasquez says based on the evidence provided, officers found enough probable cause to arrest Hill.
“It’s evident that he’s done his homework on what he needs to do to put together a good case," said Vasquez on Greene's work.
The sting is similar to one performed in Chandler earlier this year. Kerrick Bryant and Kyle Layton spoke to ABC15 in August, saying similar groups inspired them to conduct their own stings.
"We want to show people that there are people out there like that and that they’re sick," said Bryant.
The duo confronted two men who they say were attempting to lure young boys into having sex. Bryant and Layton created fake online profiles, and posed as minors, in hopes of later catching predators in the act.
However, Chandler police said no arrests were made in either case, even after looking into video showing the confrontation between the duo and the alleged suspects.
Bryant and Layton also included screenshots of messages they say the two men sent, asking for sex, and admitting they were aware the person they were chatting with was a minor.
"It takes such protocols and investigation to complete a good report that’s going to be chargeable with any prosecuting agency," he added. "So, it’s very difficult for us to backtrack.”
Eloy police are confident the evidence gathered against Hill and the other suspect, 50-year-old Eduardo Juarez De La Cruz, is solid.
The Pinal County Attorney's Office has formally charged Hill with attempted sexual conduct with a minor and luring a minor for sex. A charging decision for De La Cruz has not been made.