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Wheelersburg man indicted on child sex trafficking charges

Allegedly gave drugs in return for access to children

Editor’s note: This article contains allegation of sexual crimes committed against children and reader discretion is advised.

COLUMBUS – A Scioto County man, members of his family and some of his associates have been indicted by a federal grand jury for child sexual trafficking and trying to hide evidence of the crimes.

On Wednesday, court documents from the Southern Ohio District federal court were unsealed and revealed that the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force began investigating Larry Dean Porter, 69, of Wheelersburg, in April 2019, after they heard from several sources that Porter was involved in sexually abusing male and female minors with consent of the minors’ parents, in exchange for illegal drugs from Porter.

He is facing 13 federal counts and is being held in a federal jail with no possibility of bond.

In March 2020, Porter was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at the McDonalds in Oak Hill on local charges coordinated by law enforcement.

Porter allegedly offered to pay $80 in exchange for access to a 7-year-old girl. He was arrested after arriving at a pre-arranged meeting location and allegedly stating he would “be done around midnight” and could return the girl then.

The FBI and the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office searched Porter’s Wheelersburg home.

According to victims and sources in the ongoing investigation by the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI), Porter sexually abused children and produced child pornography kept on flash drives that Porter used extreme methods to conceal.

Prosecutors allege Larry Porter would give illegal narcotics to drug-addicted parents, in exchange for sexual access to the minor victims. It is alleged he often instructed the parents to sexually abuse their own children and recorded it to use as blackmail.

Additionally, according to the criminal complaint, Larry Porter made numerous recorded phone calls and mailed three letters while incarcerated in Jackson County in an attempt to have his family members and associates lie under oath, convince other witnesses to lie to law enforcement, or to convince sources not to provide information to law enforcement.

Larry Porter is charged in a 13-count indictment with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), attempting to sex traffic children (15 years up to life), producing child pornography (15 to 30 years), possessing child pornography (up to 10 years), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years) and conspiring to witness tamper (up to 20 years).

According to the indictment, in the days immediately following Porter’s arrest in Jackson County, two of Porter’s daughters and two of his friends were seen making numerous trips to Porter’s residence and property. Denna Sue, 32, of Wheelersburg, and Crystal D. Porter, 39, of Columbus, were seen digging holes in the ground on the property.

On March 20, officers and agents searched the area in which the daughters were seen digging. They discovered an SD memory card buried inside a glass jar. Court documents allege the memory card contained images of child pornography taken in Porter’s bedroom.

Denna Porter is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), destroying or removing evidence (up to five years), and making false statements to law enforcement (up to eight years).

Crystal Porter is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), destroying or removing evidence (up to five years), and making false statements to law enforcement (up to eight years).

The indictment alleges that two of Larry Porter’s associates, Frank E. Andrews, 68, of Wheelersburg, and W. David Cole, 62, of Portsmouth, were also seen on Porter’s property.

Andrews is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent child (up to 20 years), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), and destroying or removing evidence (up to five years).

Agents said they recovered eight DVDs from Andrews’ residence that contained multiple videos of child pornography. Forensic evidence indicated the file titles match those on Porter’s computer.

Cole is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison), conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years), and destroying or removing evidence (up to five years).

Facebook messages allegedly show conversations between Cole and Porter discussing child sex trafficking victims. Cole also allegedly removed and destroyed evidence from Porter’s home.

During a recorded jail call, Porter and his cousin, Erroll Wayne Porter, Sr. (Wayne), 69, of Wheelersburg, discussed an individual they believed was a source for law enforcement.

Wayne Porter said he “got some things working there, trying to take him down.”

In a later call, Porter told Wayne, “Go out and make sure that idiot don’t do something. If you have to put a slug in that son-of-a-bitch.”

Wayne Porter is charged with conspiring to obstruct a child sex trafficking investigation (up to 25 years) and conspiring to tamper witnesses (up to 20 years).

Joshua David Aldridge, 36, of South Webster, is charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison) and sex trafficking children (15 years up to life in prison). He allegedly transported minor victims to Porter’s home and received drugs from Porter in return.

Charity Ann Rawlins, 41, of South Webster, and Ronnie L. Rawlins, 47, of Oak Hill, are also charged with conspiring to sex traffic children (15 years up to life in prison) and sex trafficking children (15 years up to life in prison).

The couple allegedly took a seven-year-old child to Porter’s residence on a regular basis to traffic the child sexually in exchange for pills. This alleged abuse occurred a few times per week for up to five years.

A number of other adult women allegedly involved in this conspiracy have been charged locally.

Criminal complaints and indictments merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier said they believe there are more victims in this case.

“Please have the courage to come forward and fight for your justice by contacting my office or the FBI,” Frazier said, adding they can call the FBI at 614-315-4923 or his office at 740-286-6464.

“I am very pleased with these indictments and very proud of my deputies and the part my deputies had in ending this child sex trafficking operation,” Frazier said, adding Jackson County will not tolerate the actions of anyone who preys on children.

“We will hunt down those that abuse and take advantage of our children and our families. Children should not be placed in circumstances where they are in danger nor traded for drugs,” Frazier said. “We want to find justice for all of their victims.”