Tuesday August 16, 2022
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Attorney General Andy Beshear says a Kansas man who attempted to purchase a Kentucky child online for $500 and drugs earlier this year was sentenced to five years and designated a lifetime sex offender.

Ernest Merle John Anziana, 49, of Fredonia, Kansas, was sentenced Oct. 19 in Franklin Circuit Court to five counts of unlawful use of electronic means originating or received within the Commonwealth of Kentucky to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, all Class D felonies; and one count of promoting human trafficking, a Class C felony.

After release from prison, Anziana is required to register as a lifetime sex offender and must complete an approved sex offender treatment program. He will be under post-incarceration supervision as a sex offender.

The investigation began early in 2018 when Beshear’s Cyber Crimes Unit obtained information that Anziana was attempting to solicit sex from an underage child in Kentucky and offered to purchase the child for $500 and 7 grams of methamphetamine.

Following the unit’s lead, the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office out of Kansas traced the information back to Anziana.

Anziana was also charged with solicitation to commit human trafficking in Greenwood County, which is located in the southeast portion of Kansas nearly 700 miles from Frankfort.

Anziana was indicted in Franklin Circuit Court Feb. 6, 2018, and was served with the indictment warrant in Kansas Feb. 7, 2018 when he was arrested. He was extradited to Kentucky, and his bond was set at $500,000.

“The details involved in this case are disturbing, yet our office encounters human trafficking cases in every county, city and community across Kentucky,” Beshear said. “Human trafficking represents the worst form of abuse, most often in children, like we have in this case. Every part of my office is committed to investigating and prosecuting predators seeking to harm our children and families. I want to thank our cyber investigators, the team at the Greenwood County Sheriff’s office, and the Franklin Commonwealth’s Attorney for prosecuting the case.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Zachary Becker prosecuted the case.

Beshear created the Office of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Prevention when he entered office. The office, along with the Department of Criminal Investigations, has 15 open human trafficking cases, and over the course of 2018 the offices have been involved in 31 arrests or citations involving the crime.

Upon taking office in 2016, Beshear teamed up with Catholic Charities of Louisville to secure a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant to help train law enforcement, increase victim services and hire the state’s first full-time human trafficking investigator.

In February, the office secured a 20-year sentence against former Campbell County District Judge Timothy Nolan on numerous felony charges, including human trafficking of adults and minors.

Last month, Beshear joined Rep. Dennis Keene, of Wilder, to announce legislation that would grant the Office of the Attorney General the ability to investigate crimes, like human trafficking, that can occur across multiple jurisdictions.

If a human trafficking victim is in immediate danger dial 911 or report suspected human trafficking of a child to 877-KYSAFE1. Victims of human trafficking may call or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.

A 65-year-old Texas man was arrested Oct. 19 at the Lexington Blue Grass Airport after he traveled 900 miles to engage in what he thought was sex with two children under the age of 12, Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today.

Beshear’s cyber investigators, Kentucky State Police and airport police intercepted and arrested Gregory Lee Hruby Friday night and charged him with four counts of unlawful use of electronic means originating or received within the Commonwealth of Kentucky to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, all Class D felonies.

Hruby, of Brazoria, Texas, which is near Houston, was taken to the Fayette County Detention Center. His bail was set at $100,000, and if he posts bail, he is required to wear an ankle monitor, Beshear said.

“The Attorney General is the chief advocate and protector for our Kentucky families, and it’s our job to ensure our communities are safe by taking off the streets anyone who would actively seek to sexually abuse any child, especially a child from Kentucky,” Beshear said. “I appreciate the hard work of our cyber investigators, KSP and officials at the Blue Grass Airport for teaming up and stopping this individual.”

Hruby’s arrest and charges were part of a lengthy undercover investigation by Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations, Cyber Crimes Unit, whose work to protect Kentucky families from cyber predators has reached historic levels with more arrests than ever before.

The Cyber Crimes Unit is part of the Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that works to reduce the number of child predators going after Kentucky’s most vulnerable children.

With the ever-changing cyber landscape, the unit is dedicated to educating its detectives on the most current techniques and technologies to keep pace with those seeking to harm children.

The Office of the Attorney General also makes it a priority to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, parents, children and caregivers on dangers of the internet.

To help keep children safe online, the office has collaborated with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to offer statewide trainings.

Beshear said the trainings offer a free Internet Safety Toolkit, which he said every Kentuckian could access online to obtain information that can protect children from cyber bullying to online predators.

Report any instance of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.

Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Cyber Crimes Unit today announced an Elizabethtown couple has been arrested and charged for allegedly seeking sex with a minor.

Robert Dean Mitchell, 43, and Stephanie Smith, 30, were arrested in Jefferson County today and each charged with one count of prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense, a Class D felony.

At the time of arrest, Mitchell and Smith were charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, a Class D felony. Mitchell was charged with possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and Smith with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

Beshear’s cyber investigators said a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old were with the couple when the arrest was made. The Secret Service assisted Beshear’s office in the arrests.

The work of the Cyber Crimes Unit, a division of the Department of Criminal Investigations in the Office of the Attorney General, is part of Beshear’s core mission to keep sexual predators away from Kentucky’s families and children.

“Protecting Kentucky’s children from sexual abuse is one of my top priorities,” Beshear said. “I appreciate the investigators in my office and the Secret Service for working so hard to keep our children safe.”

The Office of the Attorney General’s work to prevent child abuse in 2016 led to the arrest of more online child predators than any year in the history of the office. The number of arrests, indictments and convictions total more than 80.

Mitchell and Smith are being held in the Jefferson County Detention Center and are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning in Jefferson District Court.

Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Cyber Crimes Unit today announced a Jefferson County man has been arrested for allegedly seeking sex with a minor.

Scott Louis Craven, 35, of Louisville, has been charged with one count of prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense, a Class D felony.

According to Beshear’s cyber investigators, Craven became the subject of investigation after seeking sex with a minor in a chatroom and sending sexually explicit photos of himself to cyber investigators.

Craven was arrested May 1 and lodged in Louisville Metro Corrections. Beshear’s cyber investigators were assisted by Louisville Metro Police Department, Third Division and Kentucky State Police Post 12.

The work of the Cyber Crimes Unit, a division of the Department of Criminal Investigations in the Office of the Attorney General, is part of Beshear’s core mission to keep sexual predators away from Kentucky’s families and children.

“The Attorney General is the chief advocate and protector for our Kentucky families, and it’s our job to ensure our communities are safe by taking off the streets anyone who would exploit children,” Beshear said. “I want to thank LMPD and KSP for working with my office on this case.”

Beshear’s work to prevent child abuse led to nearly 80 arrests, indictments and convictions of online child predators in 2016

Craven was to be arraigned in Jefferson District Court May 2. His cash bond is set at $10,000.

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