LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Tucked away off Taylorsville Road near the Gene Synder is a quiet parking lot. The location is where Stephanie Smith, 30, and Robert Mitchell, 43, both of Elizabethtown, thought they were meeting a minor to have sex. The couple arranged the meeting online.
"Your children are not safe on the internet, on their electronic devices, on any form of social media," Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Brown said.
The apparent minor the couple was planning to meet was an undercover investigator for the Attorney General's office.
"There is no trick," Brown said. "This is not entrapment. We make it clear in our investigation and it becomes very clear their interest is in sex with minors. Their interest is in illegal activity."
The couple had a 3-year-old and 6-year-old, who weren't their children, and drugs with them when they were arrested. Arrest reports say Mitchell and Smith had meth in their possession when arrested. Mitchell also had marijuana.
This case is another win for the AG's Cyber Crimes Unit. The division is dedicated to getting sexual predators off the street.
"They are usually the ones who press it," Brown said. "In fact, always the ones who press it with us because we don't operate in the sense where we try to get a gotcha. We want to get them, but we don't do a gotcha."
In 2016, the office arrested more online child predators than any year in the history of the office. There were more than 80 from that year.
The office said this is another example of why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing online. Predators can be found everywhere.
"They are using any and every available form of social media, list, contact service that you could imagine," Brown said.
Mitchell and Smith are being held in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
The two children who were in the car with them are now safe at home.
Mitchell and Smith are each charged with prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense, possession of controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.