Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell announced Friday, July 26 the arrest of 12 men who are suspected of attempting to engage in sex acts with children. Ages of the defendants range from 21 to 62 and they are from throughout mid-Michigan. One suspect is Kevin Choma of Fenton.
The Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST), a newly formed task force within the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, investigated and made the arrests.
As stated in the sheriff’s Facebook post on Friday, July 26, “All 12 defendants have been charged with felonies relating to attempting to meet and engage in sex acts with 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old children. All of the individuals have been charged with a 20-year felony for child sexually abusive activity, an additional 20-year felony for using a computer to commit a crime against a child, and a four-year felony for accosting
a child for immoral purposes.
“Similar to our previous sting operation, which netted 22 arrests, the most current crop of suspects come from all walks of life. Disturbingly, many of the defendants are those who our society would trust the most. A former law enforcement officer from a neighboring county, a finance director for a charitable organization, and a U.S. Army National Guard Member who was due to ship out for training the very next day, were just a few of those arrested and charged.”
One of those 12 suspects is from Fenton.
Kevin Robert Choma, 57, was arraigned June 24 on three felonies, including one count of accosting children for immoral purposes, one count of child sexually abusive activity and one count of using a computer/internet to commit the crime. A cash surety bond of $2,000 was ordered on each count.
On July 17, Choma’s case was bound over to Genesee County Circuit Court. He bonded out of jail and has no new court dates scheduled in circuit court.
Previous GHOST task force arrests
In June, Pickell announced charges against 22 people who allegedly solicited sex from children. These cases are all pending in Genesee County.
The following are suspects from the tri-county area.
Carl Spradlin, 59, of Holly Township, faces one count of child sexually abusive activity, one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes and one count of using a computer/internet to commit a crime.
On June 25, he was referred for a competency evaluation and has a review hearing scheduled for Aug. 22 at 8:30 a.m.
Kurtis Statler, 25, of Fenton Township, was charged with one count of child sexually abusive activity, using a computer/internet to commit a crime, and accosting a child for immoral purposes. His bond is set at $10,000 for each charge.
His case was bound over for a jury trial in Circuit Court and he has a status conference scheduled for Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.
Patrick Tulip, 51, of Gaines faces the same charges and has a $50,000 bond on each charge. He has a court-appointed attorney. He has a GPS tether and is not allowed to use a cellphone.
Tulip has a motion hearing scheduled for Aug. 19 at 10 a.m.
David Edward Pfenning, 49, of Davisburg was charged with one count of child sexually abusive activity, one count of accosting children for immoral purposes and one count of using a computer/internet with another to commit crime.
He was arraigned April 14 and posted $11,500 bond. His case was bound over to Circuit Court on June 14 and he has a Circuit Court pretrial Aug. 12 at 1:30 p.m.
Besides Choma, the arrest of these other “Dirty Dozen” suspects were announced last week by Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell:
Tyler Freeman, 25, Saginaw
Gale Thompson, 36, Millington
Bradley McKeefry, 25, Grand Blanc
Dale Tompkins, 49, Lapeer
Nicholas Jozwiak, 21, Flushing
David Hampton, 52, Imlay City
Lyle Downing, 33, Howell
Brad Schultheiss, 29, Saginaw
Darren Waterstraat, 52, Yale
John Schafer, 51, Grand Blanc
Timothy Roberts, 62, Saginaw
Source: Genesee County 67th District Court, Genesee County 7th Circuit Court