Usually police might enlist a citizen or a police officer as a decoy to play the role of a victim to catch a criminal, but in a case last January, it was a citizens group “Worldwide Predator Hunters, Inc.” that enlisted the police to catch an alleged sex criminal from Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Allegedly an Arlington Heights resident that lives in the Stonebridge of Arlington Heights apartment complex communicated with a “secret agent” of Worldwide Predator Hunters on the dating app MeetMe. Allegedly, the Arlington Heights resident learned that the “girl” was a minor and continued to communicate, describing explicit sex acts that the suspect suggested he would perform. Messages were saved and turned over to the police.
The Arlington Heights resident allegedly traveled to Crystal Lake in McHenry County for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a female minor.
Jose Sanchez-Vargas, age 33, of the block of 900 West Rand Road in Arlington Heights was arrested and charged with traveling to meet a minor, indecent solicitation of a child, and grooming.
Not all police agencies are willing to accept information leads from Worldwide Predator Hunters, Inc., but the digital communications were forwarded to Crystal Lake Police Department. Evidence gathered indicated that Sanchez-Vargas allegedly communicated over the Internet with a person who he believed to be a child, according to a criminal complaint.
Jose Sanchez-Vargas traveled to Crystal Lake on Friday, January 14, 2022 with the intent to commit a sex offense with the child, according to the criminal complaint.
Jose Sanchez-Vargas was arrested by the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force and was processed at the Crystal Lake Police Department that Friday afternoon.
Jose Hugo Sanchez-Vargas appeared at a bond hearing remotely on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Since Friday, January 14, 2022 at 6:10 p.m., Sanchez-Vargas remains held at the McHenry County Jail on $30,000 bond — at 10% he would have to post $3,000 cash bail to be released.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2022, when arraignment was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 25, 2022 in Room 304 McHenry County Court.
SUMMARY OF CHARGES …
TRAVELING TO MEET A MINOR
INDECENT SOLICITATION CHILD INTERNET
Worldwide Predators Hunters posted information about the Sanchez-Vargas case on Facebook, but Worldwide Predator Hunters did not confront the Arlington Heights resident in person. Some citizen detectives or organizations have overstepped their bounds by confronting suspects on video (shared on social media) at the suggested meeting locations, and law enforcement authorities have warned in-person meetings can be very dangerous.
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