Internet Group Helps Police Catch Suspected Sexual Predator 12, 2004

A Baton Rouge man is free on 25-thousand dollar bond after he allegedly agreed to meet with a 14-year-old boy for sex. Only the boy wasn't 14, instead a member of an Internet vigilante group who target suspected sexual predators. WAFB's Avery Davidson brings you a first hand account from the vigilante five states away.

Baton Rouge Police say 47-year-old Carl Barcelona tried to entice a 14-year-old boy from Jackson, Mississippi to hop on a bus and meet for a sexual rendezvous.

Avery Davidson (Reporter): "Did you do what they accuse you of doing?"

Barcelona: "No!"

Authorities say the proposition with the teen took place via the Internet. However, it was no 14-year-old boy at the receiving end, instead it was an employee of, a civilian group that aids authorities in the arrest of suspect sexual predators.

The employee, who goes by the handle "Jay Alternative" describes the encounter with Barcelona:

"Opening line was Hi," recounts Jay. "His next line was you sound like a little hottie."

Jay says Barcelona sent him several pictures, including one of Barcelona jamming away on a Gibson Explorer. With enough information in hand, Jay called Baton Rouge Police.

"When someone is that bold and that presumptuous to do such, my gut feeling is that they've done it before and this is not a first time behavior," says Jay.

Police made arrangements to have an undercover agent on a bus from Jackson and arrested Barcelona when he approached. Police say this is the first time they've worked with such a vigilante group.

"They apparently do a very good job of documenting the entire process along the way and of trying to obtain positive identifications of the person trying to make contact with the so called juvenile," says Corporal Don Kelly, with Baton Rouge police.

Kelly says FBI officials are looking at the case because there was interstate communication. Barcelona remains free on 25-thousand dollars bond. The perverted justice web site claims the group has assisted in several convictions across the country.

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