TULSA, Okla. — An Idaho man is behind bars in Tulsa County after months of investigation.
The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said 48-year-old Andrew Ostrega was arrested for allegedly soliciting nude photos from a Tulsa County teenager. TCSO said Ostrega was arrested in Boise, Idaho and extradited to Tulsa on Friday.
TCSO Detective Jason Weis with the Child Predator Unit began investigating Ostrega last November after a mother came forward saying Ostrega reached out to her 15-year-old daughter through social media for nude photos. According to Weis, Ostrega said he would pay the girl $20 to $40 for them.
“He also had sent a screenshot to the young girl as proof that he would pay when she sent the nudes," Weis said. "It listed a bunch of other names, but, you know, the names were hard to track because it’s part of Cash App and I don’t have his phone yet.”
TCSO said Ostrega then reached out to another teenage girl for photos, but it was actually an undercover member of TCSO's Child Predator Unit.
Ostrega is facing three felony charges: indecent exposure to a child, using technology to engage in sexual communication with a minor and soliciting a minor for indecent exposure.
“These bad guys are out there and they’re predators," Weis said. "They’re lurking and they’re hunting and they’re grooming children.”
Detective Weis warns parents to monitor their child’s social media use. He said it’s not a matter of if, but when, a predator seeks them out online.
“When you hand that child a device, you’re giving them a worldwide platform to be able to communicate with anybody in the world; whether it’s Idaho, Tulsa, it could be out of the country," Weis said.
Detective Weis said while it’s a hard conversation to have, parents must talk to their children about online dangers. He said it can help prevent these crimes from happening.
“There’s gotta be a moment in conversations with parents and their child that, if something like this is happening, it’s not going to be your fault, but we need to know about it so we can stop it and make sure that this person doesn’t harm other children," Weis said.
TCSO said Ostrega communicated with his victims through SnacChat using the screen names “drunk202020” and “Drew Issme” on Instagram.
Detective Weis said they do believe there are other victims. TCSO is asking anyone who was approached by Ostrega to come forward and contact them at 918-596-5601.
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