COLUMBUS — Back in March, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office planned a human trafficking sting operation in Oak Hill, which resulted in the arrest of a suspect.

Arrested was Larry Dean Porter, 69, of Wheelersburg, according to information provided by the Office of the United States Attorney General DAvid M DeVillers, Southern District of Ohio.

Authorities were able to arrange a transaction with Porter, who had agreed to pay money for a sexual encounter with a minor girl, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

In Facebook messages coordinated by law enforcement, Porter allegedly offered to pay $80 in exchange for access to a 7-year-old girl. He allegedly stated he would “be done around midnight” and could return the girl then.

Porter was taken into custody at McDonald’s of Oak Hill, which was the pre-arranged meeting location, the the U.S. Attorney General’s Office stated.

“I am very pleased with these indictments and very proud of my deputies and the part my deputies had in ending this child sex trafficking operation,” said Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier. “Jackson County will not tolerate the actions of anyone who preys upon our children. We will hunt down those that abuse and take advantage of our children and our families. Children should not be placed in circumstances where they are in danger nor traded for drugs.”

Frazier said, “We want to find justice for all of their victims. Porter is in Federal custody at this time and is being held without bond. Please have the courage to come forward and fight for your justice by contacting my office or the FBI.”

According to court documents unsealed on Wednesday, June 24, agents with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force reportedly began investigating Porter in April 2019 following reports from several sources that Porter may have been involved in sexually abusing male and female minors with consent of the minors’ parents in exchange for illegal drugs from Porter.

The victims and sources in the ongoing investigation by the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) alleged that Porter sexually abused children and produced child pornography kept on flash drives that Porter used “extreme methods” to conceal, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

He would allegedly give illegal narcotics to drug-addicted parents in exchange for sexual access to the minor victims, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. It is alleged he often instructed the parents to sexually abuse their own children and recorded it to use as blackmail.

Additionally, according to the criminal complaint, Porter allegedly made numerous recorded phone calls and mailed three letters while incarcerated in Jackson County in an attempt to have his family members and associates lie under oath, convince other witnesses to lie to law enforcement, or to convince sources not to provide information to law enforcement.

A federal grand jury has indicted Porter and several of his family members and associates with charges related to a child sex trafficking operation.

Porter is charged in a 13-count indictment with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), attempting to sex traffic children (15 years up to life), producing child pornography (15 to 30 years), possessing child pornography (up to 10 years), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years) and conspiring to witness tamper (up to 20 years).

It is alleged that in the days immediately following Porter’s arrest in Jackson County, two of Porter’s daughters and two of his friends were seen making numerous trips to Porter’s residence and property, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

Denna Sue Porter, 32, of Wheelersburg, and Crystal D. Porter, 39, of Columbus, were reportedly seen digging holes in the ground on the property, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

On March 20, officers and agents reportedly searched the area in which the daughters were seen digging. They discovered an SD memory card buried inside a glass jar, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. Court documents allege the memory card contained images of child pornography taken in Porter’s bedroom.

Denna is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), destroying or removing evidence (up to five years), and making false statements to law enforcement (up to eight years).

Crystal is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), destroying or removing evidence (up to five years), and making false statements to law enforcement (up to eight years).

Porter’s associates Frank E. Andrews, 68, of Wheelersburg, and W. David Cole, 62, of Portsmouth, were also seen on Porter’s property.

Andrews is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent child (up to 20 years), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), and destroying or removing evidence (up to five years).

Agents reportedly recovered eight DVDs from Andrews’ residence that contained multiple videos of child pornography. Forensic evidence indicated the file titles match those on Porter’s computer, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

Cole is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), and destroying or removing evidence (up to five years).

Facebook messages allegedly show conversations between Cole and Porter discussing child sex trafficking victims. Cole also allegedly removed and destroyed evidence from Porter’s home, according to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

During a recorded jail call, Porter and his cousin, Erroll Wayne Porter, Sr. (Wayne), 69, of Wheelersburg, discussed an individual they believed was a source for law enforcement. Wayne said he “got some things working there, trying to take him down.” In a later call, Porter told Wayne, “Go out and make sure that idiot don’t do something. If you have to put a slug in that (expletive).”

Wayne is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), and conspiring to tamper witnesses (up to 20 years).

Joshua David Aldridge, 36, of South Webster, is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison) and sex trafficking children (15 years up to life in prison).

It is alleged that Aldridge transported minor victims to Porter’s home and received drugs from Porter in return.

Charity Ann Rawlins, 41, of South Webster, and Ronnie L. Rawlins, 47, of Oak Hill, are also charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison) and sex trafficking children (15 years up to life in prison).

The couple allegedly took a seven-year-old child to Porter’s residence on a regular basis to traffic the child sexually in exchange for pills. This alleged abuse occurred a few times per week for up to five years, the the U.S. Attorney General’s Office stated.

A number of other adult women allegedly involved in this conspiracy have been charged locally. Criminal complaints and indictments merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Representing the United States in this case are David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost; Jackson County Sheriff Tedd E. Frazier; Jackson County Prosecutor Justin Lovett; Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Scioto County Prosecutor Shane A. Tieman announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorneys Heather A. Hill and Jessica W. Knight, as well as Special Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rausch, Legal Director of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Human Trafficking Initiative.

If you believe you may be a victim, or have information related to this case, please call the FBI at 614-315-4923.

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