5 men charged in York County internet pedophilia case
All five arrests came after an unrelated group was indicted in April, Tolson said in a statement.
Two of the suspects are from North Carolina, including one from neighboring Charlotte, according to jail and arrest records. The other three are from South Carolina, including two from neighboring Lancaster County, according to records.
“Let this send a strong message to any child predator, if you hunt our children you will become the hunted,” Tolson said in a statement.
According to the arrest warrants obtained by The Herald, the suspects used social media applications to communicate for sexual purposes with people suspected of being underage. The suspects were looking for victims as young as 12, according to the warrants.
Some of the charges involved illegal images uploaded to the internet either by a suspect or wanted by a suspect, depending on the arrest warrants.
According to the sheriff’s warrants and documents, the accused persons are:
- Matthew Ray Bolick, 53, of Charlotte, charged with criminal solicitation of a minor.
- Larry Donell Rogers, 67, of Greenville, SC, charged with first degree sexual exploitation of a minor and criminal solicitation of a minor.
- Jeffrey Dennis Rape, 61, of Heath Springs, charged with first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor and disseminating obscene material to a minor.
- Carl Lee Taylor Jr., 48, of Hickory, North Carolina, charged with first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor, and disseminating obscene material to a minor.
- Caleb Israel Strope, 20, of Indian Land in Lancaster County, charged with first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal solicitation of a minor and disseminating obscene material to a minor.
Third round of arrests in two years
The series of arrests is the third in two years by York MPs working on Internet crimes of which children are victims. In November 2019, MPs said 10 people had been indicted in an Internet child sex investigation. The other round of arrests took place in April 2021.
Tolson said the office will continue to coordinate investigations into child sex crimes with Federal Police and South Carolina Police.
York County MPs worked with the FBI, Internal security investigators, SLED, and other South Carolina police departments in York, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster and other counties, officials said. The investigation is similar to others in South Carolina and around the country that are targeting internet child predators through the SC Attorney General Working Group on Internet Crime Against Children, according to MPs and homeland security officials.