A St. Paris man was arrested on a probation violation late Monday afternoon after he was caught allegedly soliciting an Urbana resident for sex.
According to a press release, Urbana police arrested Brian G. Cantrell, 37, after an investigation was started when police were contacted by a resident who had received unwanted and bizarre phone calls and texts from a stranger, later found to be Cantrell, soliciting him for nude sex photos and sexual activity.
Police began monitoring the reporting person’s phone and, through continued communications with Cantrell, arranged for him to meet the resident Cantrell believed to be a 16-year-old male at a location in the city.
Police began surveillance of the location and had an undercover police officer waiting at the agreed upon meeting location posing as the 16-year-old male.
Cantrell arrived to the agreed upon meeting location at 4:49 p.m. and was taken into custody by the undercover police officer. Police recovered items of evidence from Cantrell and his vehicle as part of this investigation.
Champaign County Adult Probation Officers assisted police throughout the investigation.
Cantrell, of 218 N. College St., was taken to the police division for processing and then was taken to the Tri-County Regional Jail, Mechanicsburg on a probation violation charge.
Additional criminal charges, including pandering sexually-oriented materials, a third degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a fifth degree felony, will be presented to an upcoming Champaign County grand jury.
“I appreciate the efforts of Sgt. Josh Jacobs and Officers Mike Hughes, Chris Snyder, Cade Hunt and Casey Evans and APA officers Herb Nicholson and Brandon Deskins in identifying Cantrell and getting him into custody and off the streets so quickly,” Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell stated.
The press release notes Cantrell is a registered sex offender. Cantrell was indicted in Champaign County in February 2013 for telecommunications harassment, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and pandering obscenity.
He pleaded guilty to pandering obscenity in April 2013 and was classified as a Tier I sex offender in June 2013 as part of a three year community control sentence.
Community control was revoked in May 2014 after Cantrell did not contest the merits of multiple community control violations including having contact with two minors on Facebook. A one-year prison sentence was imposed against Cantrell after community control was revoked.
Upon his release from prison, Cantrell was subject to post release control for a period of five years.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.