Manna Mahuri

atrubia@ricentral.com

Last week, the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) announced the arrest of 13 different subjects for child exploitation. The arrest was made by the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force during Operation Guardian, an undercover investigation that saw detectives utilize several different social media applications and online classified ads to communicate with the suspects. 

Among the 13 men arrested were residents from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including North Kingstown and East Greenwich residents. 

Manna Mahuri, 41, of 32 Newport Avenue, North Kingstown, was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child. Muhammad Malik, age 44, of 90 McPartland Way, East Greenwich, was also arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child. 

According to RISP, a person found guilty of indecent solicitation of a child will be imprisoned for no less than five years.

Additional charges brought against other subjects include electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor and possession of cocaine. 

James Manni, the Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, said during a news conference last week that members of ICAC had been planning Operation Guardian for several months. 

“Over the last couple of months, the members of the task force began planning a large scale, undercover operation, targeting individuals who indecently solicit juveniles over various social media applications and online classified advertisements,” Manni said.  

Beginning on Jan. 24 and ending in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, the undercover ICAC detectives used 16 different social media applications and online classified ads to communicate with the suspects, resulting in their arrests.  

“These suspects believed they were communicating with 13 to 15 year-old juveniles of all genders,” Manni said. “The suspects arranged to meet these purported juveniles for various sexual acts at a pre-determined location. At the conclusion of the two days, 13 individuals were arrested with several additional arrests possible.”

The undercover operation was based out of downtown Providence. 

“The message I’d like to give the residents of the state is this,” Manni continued. “Our citizens can sleep better at night knowing this unit is in pursuit of these child predators. We will use all available resources and will go to any length to find you, arrest you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Rhode Island ICAC Task Force Program is administered by the Rhode Island State Police and supports a national network of multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task forces engaged in investigations, forensic examinations, and prosecutions related to internet crimes against children and technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation. It is also comprised of detectives from several local police departments, including North Kingstown Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department and Bristol Police Department. 

Other subjects charged for indecent solicitation of a child, among other charges, include: 

Jose Carrion, 41, of 130 Jones Street, Apt. 1, Attleboro, Mass., was arrested on the charges of indecent solicitation of a child and possession of cocaine. 

Kevin Cooney, 27, of 24 Ann Marie Drive, Bellingham, Mass., was arrested on the charges of:

indecent solicitation of a child and electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor. 

Tomy Fitton, age 39, of 40 Mill Street, Pawtucket, was arrested on the charges of indecent solicitation of a child and electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor (5 counts). 

Anthony Gomes, age 31, of 10 Main Street, Apt. 1, Brockton, Mass., was arrested on the charges of indecent solicitation of a child and electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor. 

Michael Johnson, age 50, of 177 S. Main Street, Templeton, Mass., was arrested on the charges of indecent solicitation of a child and electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor. 

James Jolly, age 41, of 47 Barden Hill Road, Middleborough, Mass., was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child. 

Paul Kimata, age 41, of 685 Oak Street, Apt. 27, Brockton, Mass., was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child. 

David King, age 37, of 32 Newton Avenue, Westerly, was arrested on the charges of indecent solicitation of a child and electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor.

Yuhua Kong, age 29, of 127 DePasquale Avenue, Apt. 3, Providence, was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Stephen Lomastro, age 57, of 166 Lakeside Avenue, Warwick, was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Emmett Manna, age 37, of 46 Whittier Avenue, Apt. 2, Providence, RI was arrested on the charge of indecent solicitation of a child. 

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