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Director of CA LGBTQ+ organization among 17 men arrested in child predator sting

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The executive director of the pro-LGBTQ+ organization Rainbow Research Center was apprehended on suspicion of attempting to engage in sexual activities with a minor, according to The Modesto Bee.

Gerad Slayton, 42, was confirmed to be one of 17 men arrested on suspicion of eliciting sex with a minor and was arrested during a sting operation conducted by the Turlock Police Department set up to catch predators allegedly seeking to meet minors with the intent to have sex with them.

Slayton recently was appointed executive director of the Rainbow Center, a local nonprofit organization that provides resources to LGBTQ+ members of all ages. It particularly offers resources related to mental and physical health.

The operation was planned for months, involved several agencies and was helmed by Turlock police Detective Gina Giovacchini. She said undercover officers pretended to be children between the ages of 13 and 17. “We got hits on every age,” said Giovacchini. The operation used several messaging and dating apps to lure suspects to a location. Giovacchini said an officer, pretending to be a minor, would get the suspect to agree to meet in person with the intention of having sex. As far as the scale and intent of the operation, it was the first of its kind for the Turlock Police Department, Giovacchini said.

Slayton pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd and lascivious behavior. His next court appearance is an early case management conference scheduled for Jan. 29 at the Stanislaus County Superior Courthouse.

 

 

 

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Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year

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The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.

According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.

ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.

Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries. 

Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.

Surprisingly, ADN reports:

A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.

Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.

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