CALHOUN COUNTY, Ala. (WBMA) — A YouTube channel created by three Alabama teenagers helped Calhoun County deputies arrest two men for sex crimes.
Deputies say the people behind the channel used phone apps to “call out” men looking to have contact with minors for sex.
A pair of YouTube videos made by three teenagers tipped off Calhoun County investigators to look into Bradley White and David Fox Jr.
Both are facing charges of sexual activity with children.
White is a former choir teacher at Alexandria High and Middle School.
“These young men, bravo to them,” Sheriff Matthew Wade said about the YouTubers. “They found two sex offenders. We’re appreciative of that.”
Sheriff Wade acknowledges the YouTuber’s help but he offered some words of caution.
“To them, they’re making a video to out somebody,” Wade said. “To a teacher who’s about to lose his livelihood, his career, his location, it could turn very dangerous very quick, very deadly.”
Calhoun County District Attorney Brian McVeigh says what the YouTubers did could be considered entrapment.
“We can’t encourage somebody into criminal behavior,” McVeigh said. “We have to catch them committing criminal behavior. That’s one of the arguments that will be raised.”
What the YouTubers did wasn’t illegal, but it could make it difficult for law enforcement to try to put bad people behind bars.
“I think they’ve said that they were going to continue to do this,” Wade explained. “This is America. If that’s what they so choose to do they can. We just want them to be safe. After them being safe we want to be sure we can prosecute anybody we find doing this.”
Sheriff Wade says the best policy is to report illegal activity to law enforcement.