NEAR YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - It's nighttime at a truck stop near Yuma, and a truck driver named Anthony Green is speaking into his cell phone.

"Tonight, we have a 30-year-old disgusting pig sicko," says Green, to an audience of hundreds, or even thousands who are following his moves via Facebook Live.

"Says he wants to give her a shower, perform oral sex in the shower and take her virginity," says Green.

He is talking about an imaginary 13-year-old girl. Someone one of Green's volunteers is pretending to be online, to catch the attention of men like the one who is arriving at the truck stop to meet this girl.

"Who you trying to meet up with here?" asks Green, as the 30-year-old man walks out of the truck stop convenience store.

"A friend," he answers, then appears to realize he's in trouble. And remember, this is all being broadcast live.

"Hey, she told me she was 21," he tells Green. "Am I going to jail?"

"The police aren't here. I'm not a cop. I'm a pissed off father. You ever heard of Truckers Against Predators?" asks Green.

And so goes the latest in a series of confrontations spearheaded by Green and his volunteer organization called Truckers Against Predators. They pose as young girls online and try to attract the attention of pedophiles.

"We're trying to get arrests, and we think it's a big movement that's going to take off," Green later tells CBS 5 Investigates during an interview.

PKG TRUCKERS VS PREDATORS 2

"We're trying to get arrests, and we think it's a big movement that's going to take off," Green said.

"Some people would say that we are vigilantes, but if we were vigilantes we sure wouldn't turn the camera on. We would meet them somewhere and smack them around a little bit and let them go," says Green.

Call him a vigilante or not, what he's doing is not embraced by everyone.

"I think they have a good heart in what they're trying to do. However, when they try to take the law into their own hands they could affect the justice system in a negative way," says Benjamin Taylor, who is a defense attorney.

Taylor says if the goal is really to get prosecutions, groups like Truckers Against Predators may be doing more harm than good.

"I think a defense attorney has a strong argument to say that these tapes and videos that these truckers are making should be thrown out of court. The case could be dismissed and you have a sexual predator back on the streets," says Taylor.

That may get tested soon in Yuma because the man Anthony Green confronted is facing prosecution.

Truckers take on predators

Matthew Sanchez turned himself into police after being caught in a trucker "sting" operation. He reportedly admitted that he was trying to meet up with a 13-year-old girl.

"He called us, telling us what had happened at the truck stop," says Sgt. Lori Franklin, from the Yuma Police Department. According to Franklin, 30-year-old Matthew Sanchez was so rattled by what happened, he called the police and turned himself in.

"In this instance, it helped because they had all the text messages, all the correspondence back and forth. And they had the video of him actually admitting that, yes, he knew she was 13 years old," says Franklin.

Green tells CBS 5 that he's conducted two sting operations in Arizona and others across the country.

"I think the exposure, quite honestly, is pretty much as valuable as the police," he says. "Getting three, four, half a million hits on these videos. Everyone finds out about these people and that's our goal."

Morgan Loew's hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
 
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

CBS 5 Investigative Reporter

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(2) comments

Dean

By the way Benjamin Taylor, they are not trying to take the law into their own hands. If that were true they would not contact the police with the evidence. As the trucker said if that is what they were doing they would leave the guy laying in a heap along the road.

Dean

Benjamin Taylor is a defense attorney so wants to make sure no one if found guilty. The videos are not the only evidence and the only reason anything would be thrown out is because of sleazy lawyers like Benjamin Taylor.

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