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Report: Education blogger arrested in sex sting told police ‘I knew better’

Local education blogger and former Clark County School District substitute teacher Erik Huey told police “I know better” and “I’m sorry” when he was arrested last week in a sting targeting online predators, records show.

Huey, 49, was one of 14 people arrested in the sting, police said.

He worked as a substitute from 2014 to 2018, according to Transparent Nevada. His blog, Clark County School Watch, said he taught English and creative writing.

Huey admitted after his arrest that he planned to pay a 15-year-old girl, who was really an undercover officer, for sex, according to his arrest report. He faces a charge of luring a minor with a computer to engage in sexual conduct, court records show.

So do at least 12 other men arrested in the sting. They are: Jordan Archila-Martinez, 24; Jonathan Risse-Santos, 28; Pedrito Castillo, 28; Trent Courtney, 25; George Espinoza, 34; Rafael Villarreal, 35; Andrew Lee, 40; Joel Mejia-Robles, 29; Carey Sherwood, 50; Rene Zuniga, 42; Deonta Griffin, 36; and Roderick Schmitt, 47, court records show.

Huey, Risse-Santos, Sherwood, Zuniga and Griffin also were charged with customer engaging in solicitation of child for prostitution, court records show, while Mejia-Robles and Lee were both also charged with attempted solicitation for or engaging in child prostitution.

Kerry Krukenberg, who police announced last week was arrested in the sting, was not listed in court records.

Sting used streaming app

According to arrest reports for all but Krukenberg, undercover law enforcement officers posed online as underage girls in the sting, which was conducted in North Las Vegas by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

Officers used a livestreaming mobile app that allowed whoever was streaming to chat with an anonymous audience made up of other users, all of whom could comment and interact with the streamer, records show.

With Huey, five others arrested — Lee, Sherwood, Zuniga, Mejia-Robles and Griffin — had also planned to meet with a 15-year-old for sex, according to their arrest reports.

Griffin was wearing a U.S. Air Force uniform when police tried to pull him over outside of the house where he had arranged to meet, according to his arrest report.

He “drove off, drove over the curb, nearly struck the patrol car, and drove away at a high rate of speed” before texting the decoy and asking why she had set him up, his report said.

Griffin called the decoy and said he had no intention of seeing her and wanted to make sure he wasn’t in trouble, the report said. He agreed to meet with her instead at Desert Horizon Park and was arrested.

He told investigators that he fled the traffic stop because he was driving a rental car owned by the Air Force and panicked, according to his report.

When Sherwood arrived, he brought a McDonald’s Happy Meal at the decoy’s request, according to his report. He told police upon his arrest that the person he chatted with had said she was 15, but he did not believe her because he thought users had to be at least 21 to use the app.

Upcoming court hearings

Archila-Martinez and Risse-Santos both planned to have sex with 14-year-olds, according to their reports.

A man named Jonathan Santos, which is how police initially identified Jonathan Risse-Santos in a news release last week, was a police cadet with the Metropolitan Police Department from 2009 to 2012, according to Transparent Nevada.

Courtney, Espinoza, Villarreal, Castillo and Schmitt arranged to have sex with 13-year-olds, their reports said, but none of them planned to pay for it.

Courtney initially told police he planned to meet with the girl to warn her about the dangers of having inappropriate conversations with men online, according to his arrest report.

But when police asked why he didn’t lecture her during the online conversations, he started to cry and admitted that he was meeting with her “to engage in sexual relations” and knew it was illegal.

Court hearings in many of the cases are scheduled for next week, and others aren’t expected until May or June.

Erik Huey was an employee of the Las Vegas Review-Journal from December 2003 to May 2004 and from May 2010 to August 2011.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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