arrested and wanted

Arrested: (l-r) Thomas Hall, Wilton McMillan, Mark Anthony Winchell.

Wanted: (l-r) Michael Najera, Hampton Short, Steven Wright. LCSD provided photos

Investigators continue to pursue charges against men targeted in a monthlong operation featuring messages exchanged with law enforcement officers posing as minors on social media apps.

Seventeen arrests were announced last month after an online operation that included more than a dozen law enforcement agencies. Officers pretended to be underage teenagers as suspects messaged them through apps.

Individuals arrested since the initial announcement include:

  • Thomas Hall, 26, Leesville – criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Wilton McMillan, 45, Simpsonville, South Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Mark Winchell, 49, Savannah, Georgia – attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18, criminal solicitation of a minor, and sexual exploitation of a minor

“Three men are still wanted on charges associated with the operation,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “We encourage anyone who knows where these men are, or where we might be able to find them, to call Crimestoppers at 888- 274-6372 or use the Crimestoppers app to share that information with us anonymously.”

Koon said the three men still wanted in connection with the online operation are:

  • Michael Alexander Najera, 23, Brevard, North Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 and sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Hampton Craig Short, 30, Charlotte, North Carolina – criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18.
  • Steven Leslie Wright, 49, Holiday, Florida – criminal solicitation of a minor, attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 and sexual exploitation of a minor

“Wright has a Florida address, but we have information indicating he might be in Liberty, South Cacolina, in Pickens County,” Koon said. “He’s a previous sex offender who has failed to stay current with our state’s sex offender registry.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.