GREENLAND, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Two men were arrested over the weekend for meeting up with a trucker posing as a 13-year-old girl for sex.
The Facebook group Truckers Against Predators (TAP) is a network of truck drivers, parents and concerned citizens who advocate for the safety of America’s children every day, according to its website.
The group was created by truck driver Anthony Greene, who now lives in Greenland.
TAP’s goal is to expose predators while collaborating with both law enforcement and legislators to influence law and crime standards for child predators.
“I’m a survivor of sexual abuse myself from my childhood,” Greene said.
Since its inception almost two years ago, Greene said his team has already facilitated more than 140 busts.
On Saturday, Greenland Police arrested Elmer Figueroa, 34, of Rogers for meeting up with a truck driver posing as a 13-year-old online for sex. Figueroa was arrested for sexual indecency with a child and booked into the Washington County Jail on a $20,000. He has since been released.
Sunday, West Fork police arrested Doyle Holt, 50, of Fort Smith for meeting up with a truck driver posing as a 13 year old online for sex. Holt was arrested for sexual indecency with a child, possession of a controlled substance and was booked into the Washington County Jail. He is awaiting a bond hearing.
Greene began seeking out the predators, intercepting them at rendezvous points, and exposing them on live video on social media. “We are going to clean up Northwest Arkansas. It’s a big problem here.”
It’s these platforms that Greenland Police Chief Gary Ricker blames for the rise in teens being targeted. “It makes it so easy for anonymous meetings.”
However, social media has also been a proven method for catching these perpetrators.
Greene said, “We put the ads out on social media. Boom. hundreds and hundreds of messages from guys who like kids.”
From there, TAP decoys who are impersonating young teens, speak with the men and arrange a time to meet.
“If we get enough information we’ll go ahead and make an arrest then. If not, we’ll get all the information we need and file for a warrant,” Chief Ricker said.
Greene said there are already upwards of 30 busts planned for Northwest Arkansas.
For anyone arranging to meet with a teen, Greene has this message, “we have decoys 24 hours a day in Northwest Arkansas on every app. If you’re on there thinking about doing something you might want to stop.”