Seven men in WNY have been arrested and charged after a sting exposed them trying to meet teens for sex!

Credit: WIVB

The FBI Child Exploitation Force, Cheektowaga, Hamburg and State police all worked together to bring the men in with the sting investigation, according to WIVB. The Erie County District Attorney’s office accused the men of using social media to try to meet up with people who they believed were teenagers. The men were lured to Hamburg or Cheektowaga, under the guise that they were meeting a 14-year-old boy or girl for sex. WKBW cited a news release from the Erie County District Attorney’s office, which stated that the incidents happened in September of 2019.

The 7 suspects are:

- Howard Stives of Westport, who is a registered level 3 sex offender, has been charged with attempted criminal sexual act and attempted disseminating indecent material to minors.
- A Buffalo man, Kevin Piechowicz,has been charged with attempted rape and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
- Nicholas Sabha, from Lewiston has been charged with attempted rape, attempted criminal sexual act and attempted disseminating indecent material to minors.
- Nicholas Shepard of Springville was charged with attempted rape, attempted disseminating indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a child.
- An Orchard Park man, Richard Zloty, is facing charges of attempted rape and attempted criminal sexual act.
- Anthony Aronica, from West Seneca was charged with attempted rape.
- Kristopher Smoyer of Amherst has been charged with attempted rape.

You can read more details about each case on the Erie County District Attorney’s office's website.

“I want the residents of Erie County to know that my office, along with our federal, state and local partners in law enforcement, is committed to protecting our children. We will continue to work to identify these predators and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also want encourage parents to be vigilant about the dangers of adults illegally soliciting children on the internet and to monitor communications received by their children on social media.”

~ Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn

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By Yasmin Young

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