COVINGTON -- An Illinois man has been arrested and extradited to Newton County in connection with a child exploitation case dating back to last year.
Richard Randall Fletcher, 55, of 708 N. Saluki Drive in Marion, Ill., has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child and electronic distribution of obscene materials.
Fletcher made contact in an online chat room and sent explicit photos to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl, but was actually a law enforcement agent in the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, said NCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Tyrone Oliver.
Fletcher was extradited with the assistance of Illinois authorities and is now at the Newton County Detention Center.
"We have an investigator of crimes against children and she's very good at it. She works hard to try to put these predators behind bars," he said.
In other news, two children were discovered walking alone down Sable Circle at 9 a.m. Thursday by a passing motorist. The motorist called 911 and stayed with the two boys, ages 2 and 3, until authorities arrived.
The children's mother was discovered at her nearby home in bed asleep.
"The kids may have unlocked the door and got out of the house while she was asleep," Oliver said.
The mother, Brittany Spikes, 21, 95 Sable Circle, Covington, was arrested and charged with cruelty to children in the first degree. The Department of Family and Children Services was notified and the children were turned over to the care of a relative.
Also, authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of a Lithonia man who allegedly pulled a gun on mourners who were gathered at Under the Stars Banquet Center in Oxford following the Feb. 16 funeral of murder victim Ketitra Techelle Jones.
"One of the mourners there recognized a male who was also there as someone who previously attempted to arm rob her in DeKalb County," Oliver said. "At that point, she notified other mourners there and they approached him and he retrieved a firearm from his vehicle. It was wrestled away by several people there and he drove off. Warrants are outstanding for his arrest."
The suspect is identified as Derrick Lucas, 29, of 2924 Fields Drive, Lithonia.
Jones was gunned down by her ex-boyfriend, Hannibal Wayne McMullen, 47, while driving along Washington Street on Feb. 10. McMullen surrendered to authorities after a nearly two-day manhunt.
Finally, an arrest has been made in connection to several reports of thefts and attempted thefts in the Lake Charles and Falcon Ridge subdivisions off Smith Store Road.
Gerica Bernard Anderson Jr., 17, 7165 Pine Needle Drive, Covington, has been charged with theft by receiving stolen property; entering an auto or other motor vehicle with intent of felony; obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers; and possession of a firearm by a person under the age of 18.
Anderson is connected to four or five entering auto incidents that occurred Monday night and further charges are pending, Oliver said.
Residents in the two subdivisions reported thefts of items including a GPS, iPod Nano and dirt bike.