Eight Hudson Valley residents arrested in child-sex sting

Sheriff Paul J. VanBlarcum reports multiple arrests as a result of a child predator identification and enforcement operation. Members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, Town of Ulster Police Department, the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team, and New York State Police arrested several persons subsequent to this coordinated effort.

In early September of 2018, Detectives, Special Agents and Investigators conducted an undercover operation in the Town of Ulster. The defendants solicited an arrangement to have sex with minor children and then met undercover police officers to engage in sex with a child. The following persons were arrested and charged:

1.Eric S. Decker, 42, of Kingston
•Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)
•Attempted Disseminating Indecent Material to Minors 1st degree (felony)

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2. Michael A. Sweeney, 51, of Kingston
•Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)

3. Ian D. Troxell, 38, of Woodstock
•Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)

4. Michael J. Minnerly, 19, of Clinton Corners
•Attempted Rape 2nd degree (felony)

5. Travis M. Sammeth, 34, of Newburgh
• Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)

6. Elroy M. Gould III, 46, of Unionville
•Attempted Rape 2nd degree (felony)
•Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)
•Attempted Patronizing a Prostitute 2nd degree

7. Joseph K. Simon, 36, of Kingston
•Attempted Criminal Sexual Act 2nd degree (felony)

8. Dana J. Tompkins, 59, of Rhinebeck
•Attempted Rape 2nd degree (felony)

The defendants were arraigned in Town of Ulster and Town of Hurley Justice Courts and remanded to the Ulster County Jail.

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