Vigilante ‘Predator Poachers’ come to Sacramento

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A YouTube creator who posts videos entrapping possible pedophiles recently arrived in the Sacramento area.

Alex Rosen, who is from Houston, Texas, claims he catches potential sex offenders in his own sting operation, but law enforcement officials say his behavior is dangerous and needs to stop.

“We pose as underage kids online,” Rosen told FOX40. “It’s the same premise as ‘To Catch a Predator.’”

Traveling across the country, Rosen and his occasional sidekicks call themselves the “Predator Poachers.” They post and sometimes sell access to videos of their homemade sting operations on their website.

Rosen has even made stops in Sacramento, luring people who think they’re going to have a sexual encounter with a boy or a girl.

Last year, he said he set up and recorded an encounter at an apartment complex in Natomas after pretending to be an 11-year-old girl communicating with a man through a chatting app. That conversation quickly turned inappropriate.

FOX40 has concealed that man’s identity because he has not been charged with a crime.

“We drop our age immediately. We don’t give them any doubts as to how old we are,” Rosen said.

Whether there’s an arrest or not, for Rosen and his team, there’s a mission behind each video.

“The reason we do it is there is such a problem of child predators now,” Rosen said.

While Sacramento police did not look into the Natomas incident filmed by Rosen, they do urge people to call them instead of taking matters into their own hands.

“Individuals could escalate the situation. They could do things that are illegal,” said Brian Marvel, who leads the Police Officers Research Group of California. “It could turn into a very hostile and violent situation.”

Marvel said he is worried vigilante justice could lead to a dangerous situation.

FOX40 showed Rosen’s video to Assistant Deputy Chief Dawn Bladet with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. She said this kind of activity should be left to professionals. 

“They do them with training, they know the protocols,” Bladet explained. “They know what can and can’t be said, what should or shouldn’t be transmitted online.”

Even with the video, it’s still not enough evidence to convict someone. A judge or jury would need more details not seen or heard on-camera.

“They would want to know when the ad was placed, how the communication happened, all the communication that happened between the two individuals,” Bladet said.

The DA’s office said they prosecuted two cases stemming from YouTube videos this past summer but added that the videos were not used as evidence in the trials.

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