On Friday, August 28, Boone Police arrested J.P. Thrower, 28, of Selma, Oregon. This arrest comes after another joint operation.
In this case, a Boone Police detective posed as a 14-year-old girl on a popular social media web site. Thrower sought out the undercover investigator on the social media site and the online encounter began. The Boone Police Detective maintained this undercover role as a child throughout the entirety of this investigation.
Thrower indicated that he was in Oregon, but was about to travel to the Boone area to visit a family member. Thrower requested a rendezvous in Boone at a local hotel on a specific date and time for sexual purposes. When Thrower arrived at this pre-arranged meeting location, he was arrested by a Boone Police Detective and a Special Agent with North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit.
Thrower had also indicated that he worked on a legal marijuana farm in Oregon and that he had mailed a package containing marijuana to a residence in the Foscoe community of Watauga County.
Upon researching the address, it was learned that the resident was on probation in Watauga County. North Carolina Probation Officers, along with Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Boone Police Investigators conducted a search of the residence. Watauga County Sheriff’s Investigators seized approximately one pound of marijuana during this search. No charges have been filed for this marijuana as of this date.
The agencies involved in this investigation were the Boone Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina Probation & Parole, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children, “ICAC,” Taskforce.
The Boone Police Department is part of the “ICAC” or Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This Task Force is a partnership of shared information and resources to combat the growing problem of crimes against children using the internet. The ICAC Task Force is lead by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and it consists of approximately 140 law enforcement agencies.
“The fight to protect our children is ongoing. With new technology comes new threats and law enforcement must remain vigilant. Boone PD has been a highly valued member of the NC ICAC Task Force for several years. Their recent efforts have taken the fight against predators to an even higher level and the SBI is proud to partner with them,” Alan K. Flora, NC State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit
The Boone Police Department Investigations Division consistently monitors the known websites that online predators use to connect with underage children. Investigators pose as underage children online by creating an undercover online and social media presence.
“If you think your children are safe from people like this, you should pay close attention to this news story. This predator knew he was coming to North Carolina to visit a family member. Prior to the trip, he sought out at least one young child online to meet while he was in North Carolina,” Chris Hatton, Investigations Division Commander with the Boone Police Department
“This individual had the forethought to seek out at least one child in North Carolina before traveling here. As a parent, this is terrifying. It is these types of crimes that can lead to missing children, human trafficking, and murder. Parents need to know who their kids are meeting online. This is why the Boone Police Department works so hard to stop these predators from getting to our children,” Police Chief Dana Crawford said.
Thrower was charged with the following crimes:
- One count of Felony Attempted First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor;
- One count of Felony Soliciting a Child by Computer;
- One count of Felony Dissemination of Obscenity.
Thrower was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $150,000 secured bond was set pending a September 17, 2015, court appearance.