Internet monitoring nets two more

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — Authorities with the St. John Sheriff’s Office assisted in the capture of two Louisiana men, who were attempting to engage in sexual acts with minors through computer-aided solicitation.

Maj. Mike Tregre, public information officer for the St. John Sheriff’s Office, said Marshall J. Burleigh, 35, 8274 Frontage Rd., Iowa, La., and Patrick J. Landry, 25, 140 PW West Dr. Deridder, La., were arrested following a two-day operation, conducted by Louisiana State Police, that involved the St. John Sheriff’s Office High Technology Crimes Unit and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Division.

These arrests come on the heels of a larger investigation that took place last month and involved law enforcement officials from across Southeast Louisiana. That investigation netted nine men from across the state and nation.

“With the holiday season upon us and children having a lot of time home from school, parents need to be ever cautious that these predators are aware of the same and are out there, preying on our children,” Said St. John Parish Sheriff Wayne Jones in a release regarding the arrests. “The St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office will continually work with area law enforcement to catch these predators and protect our children.”

St. John Sheriff’s Office Det. Tommy Young, a member of the High Tech Crimes Unit, said investigators were led to the offenders through information provided in online conversation with the suspects.

“We didn’t have to do much tracking at all,” said Young. “It’s not uncommon for these guys to offer up addresses, phone numbers and other identification. That was the case in theses arrests.”

Young said Burleigh was taken into custody after engaging in a sexually explicit, four-hour, online chat with Young, who was posing as a 15-year-old female. Young said Burleigh drove to Lafayette to meet the “female” at a gas station along Interstate 10 for sex, but was met by investigators who arrested him.

“In our conversation, Mr. Burleigh actually told me he was willing to risk capture by police in order to have sex with a 15-year-old girl,” said Young. “This tells you how dangerous these men can be.”

Young said authorities detained Landry after he had a sexually explicit online chat with what he believed to be a 15-year-old female. Young said Landry emailed sexually explicit photographs of himself to his “victim” and asked “the 15-year-old” to meet him at his dorm room in Baton Rouge for sex. Young said Landry provided address information through text messages he exchanged with investigators.

Young said both men were booked with computer-aided solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes and indecent behavior with juveniles. He said Burleigh is being held by authorities in Lafayette and Landry was detained by deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.