"Dads Against Predators" viral video leads to immigration arrest in Fremont
Nationwide vigilantes are banding together to try to stop child predators. A new local group attempted to do just that Tuesday, and a YouTube video documenting the incident at the Fremont Walmart has gone viral.
The suspect "Dads Against Predators" met in the video is locked up and facing charges after law enforcement viewed the video. But, his arrest isn't for underage sex crimes. Instead it's a deportation case that the United States Border Patrol is involved in.
On Tuesday morning Joshua Mundy confronted 39-year-old Rafael Valadez-Loera at the Fremont Walmart.
Mundy says this meet up was planned, except Valadez-Loera was expecting a 14-year-old boy instead.
Mundy followed him around the store and into the parking lot and even captured video of the suspect's license plate.
Turns out he was legally admitted on a visitor visa, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Detroit tells 13abc he may be deported because he violated his immigration status by engaging in criminal activity which endangers public safety.
"Catching bad guys," said Mundy.
The group of friends calls themselves "Dads Against Predators" and what they do is pose as 14-year-olds on dating apps and then wait for older men to message them.
In the case of Valadez-Loera, Mundy says the entire exchange from the first message to the in-person meeting took less than an hour.
"We agree to meet them and when we meet them we record them. We save all the chat logs and send it to the police," said Mundy.
Fremont police released this statement:
"We appreciate the awareness this incident brings to this problem, however we do not condone citizens taking matters into their own hands. Children are of the utmost importance to our department and our community. "
Mundy says authorities reached out to him after seeing the video.
"Nothing I'm doing is illegal, but I should be safe and they thanked me while also kind of yelling at me as well. ... I've caught three people in 24 hours that were here to meet and to take home a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl, and I don't know what they've done in the past few years, but in 24 hours that I've done this I've caught three people," said Mundy.
Fremont police are asking anyone with information about this to contact them as the investigation continues.
Mundy says he doesn't plan to stop catching bad guys in his town.
"I'm just going to continue to do it and make sure that I'm going to do it until nobody else messages me back," said Mundy.
Since this initial video made the rounds on social media another similar video at the same Fremont Walmart has been posted on the group's YouTube page.