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News

Undercover PA Man Helps Catch 9 Alleged Predators Attempting To Lure Children Using Dating Apps

Nine of the eight men charged.
Nine of the eight men charged. Photo Credit: Kingston Municipal Police Department

A group of alleged child predators were apprehended by police in connection with a scheme to meet up with minors they meet via dating apps on Tuesday, according to police.

The accused, allegedly thought they were talking to children on dating apps and were trying to meet up for sex, according to police.

Musa Harris, 41, who calls himself the "Luzerne County Predator Catcher,” is not a police officer, but he messages people on dating apps claiming to be underage, police say.

This is something Harris, a father with a young child, has been doing full-time since March 2020, according to an interview he gave to Newswatch 16.

If an alleged predator agrees to meet up, Harris, then exposes them and turns over all the evidence to the police.

"We reviewed numerous, numerous cases," Kingston Police Chief Rich Kotchik said in a statement to the media on Tuesday. "And the cases we brought to the table today are cases that we knew are great cases, solid cases and that we were able to prosecute these individuals."

A former Valley View School District administrator from Lackawanna County, Chris Mazzino, 54, is among the accused predators he captured on video, according to police.

Mazzino is thought to be in Florida, according to Chief Kotchik.

Another accused predator is a former Lebanon County prison guard, George E. Fies Jr., 47, of Lebanon County, according to authorities. He has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility, according to his court docket. His bail was set at $50,000 and his preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 27.

The following men were also charged according to police and court documents:

  • Sean D. Lewandowski, 50, of Nanticoke has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility. Lewandowski is being held on $50,000 bail. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 27.
  • Michael John Halye, 47, who is currently an inmate at the state prison in Waynesburg, has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility.
  • Christopher J. Santo, 36, Dickinson City, Lackawanna County, has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, attempted corruption of minors, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility. His bail was set at $50,000 and his preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 27.
  • John Daniel Davenport, 26, of Shickshinny, has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility. He has been released on a surety bond for $50,000 in bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27.
  • Zachary John Mitchell, 47, of Kunkletown, has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility. His bail has been set at $50,000, and his preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 27.
  • William Lee Lewis, 38, has been charged with attempted unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation to commit statutory sexual assault and criminal use of a communication facility. His whereabouts are unknown according to authorities.

What does Harris think of the arrests and charges? "You gotta catch him all," he says in part, but you can check out his full statement here on his YouTube channel:

Harris has obviously been a help to the community and police but authorities do not encourage people to do this because it could be dangerous, police said to the press on Tuesday.

"We’ve made it clear that we don’t encourage anyone that isn’t law enforcement to do the things that he’s doing," Kotchik said.

"If you're a child predator, you should be worried. Period," Luzerne County district attorney Sam Sanguedolce said on Tuesday.

Harris has an on-going GoFundMe campaign page to help support him in his work. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

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