Police say Lucas Pete Mitchell of Strathmore used social media to lure the boy, then molested him in 2017
STRATHMORE – A Strathmore man was arrested last week for allegedly meeting a boy on social media and then molesting him.
On Feb. 14, members of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Children’s Unit, in collaboration with the Tulare County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigated a possible child molestation which happened in Strathmore.
Detectives found evidence that Lucas Pete Mitchell of Strathmore met a 14-year-old boy on social media in 2017 and molested him. Mitchell has been arrested and booked at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Pre-Trial Facility on numerous child molestation charges.
Preventing online predators from gaining access to children becomes more difficult each year. In an effort to identify inappropriate contact via social media before it leads to something physical, experts offer the following warning signs that an adult may be preying on your child. Your child may be in contact with an online predator if he or she:
• Becomes secretive about online activities
• Becomes obsessive about being online
• Gets angry when he or she can’t get online
• Receives phone calls from people you do not know or makes calls to numbers that you do not recognize
• Receives gifts or packages from someone you don’t know
• Withdraws from family
• Changes screens or turns off computer when an adult enters a room
• Begins downloading pornography online
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case or on any possible child molestation case is encouraged to contact the Tulare County Sheriff Office at 559-733-6218. Or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting 559-725-4194 or through email at [email protected].
Friday, Feb. 15
A Visalia woman will join her friend behind bars after being caught smuggling drugs into the Tulare County Jail. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department had reason to believe 54-year-old Tammy Gomes had been smuggling drugs into a Tulare County Detention Facility for the past 2 weeks. The drugs were being sent to 38-year-old Raymond Durham, who is currently in jail on unrelated charges. Following a two week investigation by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office TAGNET (Tulare Area Gang and Narcotic Enforcement Team), detectives served a search warrant at Gomes’ house in the 2000 block of N. Ben Maddox Way at 8 a.m. on Feb. 15. During a search of the home, detectives found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia related to methamphetamine and other items associated with drug sales. Gomes was arrested and faces charges of importing narcotics into a jail, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a residence for the purpose of narcotics use. Durham also faces new charges, which include importing narcotics into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime.