Crime

2 York Co. men face child sex charges after Facebook tip leads to victims, cops say

Meet Ruger, the ‘game-changer’ dog in fight against child predators

Meet Ruger, the newest member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Ruger can detect the chemical smell of small electronics that humans cannot, which is a ‘game-changer’ in the fight to stop child exploitation and child pornography.
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Meet Ruger, the newest member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Ruger can detect the chemical smell of small electronics that humans cannot, which is a ‘game-changer’ in the fight to stop child exploitation and child pornography.

A Clover man arrested in connection with child porn photos sent over Facebook messenger now faces more charges. Police say he sexually assaulted a child and had other child pornographic images.

Nathaniel Blake Arguedas, 20, of Shasta Circle in Clover, faces 16 felony charges. The charges include two counts of sexual assault on a child, soliciting a minor, giving obscene material to a minor and 12 charges of sexual exploitation of minors, according to arrest warrants.

Police say Arguedas’ charges are linked to charges against another Clover man, Joseph Paul Mowczan.

Mowczan, 31, of Adriatic Lane in Clover, faces five counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and two charges from 2018, police and court records show.

Mowczan and Arguedas are acquaintances who knew some of the same victims, police said.

“I want to reassure the public that we continue to cast nets for these predators who seek young, impressionable youth and caution (everyone) to monitor their child’s media activity,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said. “We’re fortunate in this case to have rescued a child victim from an ongoing abusive situation.”

Convictions for sex-related charges against children in South Carolina range from 10 to 25 years per count.

Police arrested Arguedas April 30 as part of an eight-state investigation into child pornography, according to Robert Kittle, spokesperson for the S.C. Attorney General’s Office. Arguedas was charged with uploading child porn pictures through Facebook messenger.

The investigation started in early April based on a cyber tip to York County deputies from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children , according to a sheriff’s report. Sheriff’s office detective Alex Clark found Arguedas shared pornographic photos on Facebook messenger, according to police reports.

Deputies received a search warrant for the Shasta Circle home where Arguedas had been living.

During the investigation, detectives Clark and Mark Motz discovered more local child victims and Internet porn pictures, according to police reports.

Arguedas was jailed after the April 30 arrest. He was served 14 additional warrants late Monday.

Police recovered several photos of minors from Arguedas’ phone, including one that showed a girl with duct tape over her mouth, according to arrest warrants. Other photos included naked children in various poses, warrants state. Arguedas also gave a minor sexual material, according to the warrants.

Mowczan was charged in April 2018 with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, then released on a $30,000 bond, court records show. After the investigation the past month, Mowczan was charged last week with five counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to arrest warrants and police records.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, prosecuting both cases, said his office will continue to prosecute suspects who prey on children through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

York County deputies are part of the task force that includes more than 4,000 police agencies nationwide.

“Our ICAC Task Force members will continue their unwavering search to find those who seek to exploit and harm our children,” Wilson said. “We will continue to work together as a team to locate, investigate and prosecute child predators.”

Both Arguedas and Mowczan are being held at the York County jail without bond.

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