Youtuber Setting Up Stings In Norwich Leads To Arrest, Investigations
Published: March 11th, 2022
By: Tyler Murphy

NORWICH - A YouTube streamer setting up decoy accounts of underage users on dating sites has recently recorded a handful of confrontations with men in the Norwich area, who he claims were reaching out for illegal sexual encounters with youths.

Some of the confrontations led to intense exchanges with the streamer, who goes by the name Cameron Decker.

Decker has traveled along the east coast in recent months and had encounters in multiple states.

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He set up decoy dating accounts for Norwich on Monday.

One of the incidents led to an arrest, while others are being investigated by police. Another incident involved a vehicle chase and near violent confrontation, while another seemed to be a case of mistaken identity on a live stream, which has led to threats of a lawsuit, all happening in the last week.

His apparent successes have drawn praise from the public, while other actions have caused concern for law enforcement officials. His methods have not yet been tested in court.

District Attorney Michael Ferrarese said he appreciated the efforts of anyone to bring suspected child predators to justice, but said, “I must warn people to proceed very cautiously when proceeding with this behavior as bad things can happen.”

“If this helps us get someone who is a danger off the streets that is a good thing, but there's more to it,” said Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting. “I believe in getting these perpetrators off the streets, and using trained people and investigations is the best way to do that.”

“This is like that show 'To Catch a Predator,' but one thing is on the show they work closely with law enforcement or they are former enforcement, and with professional help and guidance they follow the safety and legal processes that are well understood. He is just sort of out there on his own,” said Cutting.

“Concerns I have is that law enforcement is coming in after. All these connections and engagements have been initiated, and perhaps some of it is good evidence we can use, but we need to do our own investigation and verify all of that. And once we do that, we make an arrest.

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“Normally in law enforcement, we have processes and rules we have to consider in order to ensure we get the right person, and that it all adds up in court. These are very sensitive cases and you want to make sure you have a solid case, and that you get to the bottom of what might actually be going on.

“The stakes are very high for people. There is a danger, and again law enforcement has a range of experience to minimize that risk, and I worry these things are not being done and it could cause issues down the line, and we don't want anyone getting hurt.”

Decker's YouTube channel WEB, which stands for Watch Every Browser, has about 4,000 followers. He said he started it about three months ago.

He said he suffered his own trauma as a youth when he was about 11 years old, and one of the reasons he enjoys doing the work now is to save others from becoming victims.

Decker was a musician before COVID who decided to begin his own operations to seek out pedophiles after watching others do it online for several months.

“I do it because I enjoy doing it and I'm good at it,” said Decker. “I just let them talk and they bury themselves.”

He said within 20 minutes of opening his decoy accounts in Norwich they had received inappropriate solicitations.

Following a streamed meet-up with a man at a local restaurant bathroom, the man was charged by police this week. In the video the man seems to admit to attempting to meet up with a young girl, hoping Decker won't tell police or his employer about the messages.

Sheriff Cutting reported on Tuesday an arrest following an investigation of a 36 year old Plymouth man attempting to have sexual relations with a 15 year old female.

“On the evening of March 7, 2022 the Chenango County Sheriff's Office received a complaint of an adult male attempting to make arrangements to have sexual intercourse with a 15 year old victim in the Town of Norwich.

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“Sheriff's Deputies responded and began to investigate the complaint. On March 8, 2022 following the investigation, Sheriff's Detective arrested Daniel P. Rice for the class A Misdemeanor of attempted rape in the third degree and the class E Felony of attempted disseminate indecent material to a minor in the first degree,” reported the office.

All defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Rice was arraigned in the Town of Norwich Court and remanded to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $20,000 cash bail.

Rice's defense attorney, Chenango County Public Defender Zachary T. Wentworth was critical about the methodology of any private investigation and how it impacted evidence.

He asked, “There are some concerns, do they have the proper controls? It's going to raise issues at some point as to 'what are the methods,' and 'were they appropriate?' It seems very strange to me just somebody going out there doing that on their own. This is a first for us here,” he said.

At least two other men are also being investigated by police, but no confirmation of any arrests were available by press time Friday.

The Norwich City Police said they had made no arrests following a streamed confrontation in the Norwich McDonald's earlier this week.

In the stream, a visitor is confronted by Decker, and after several minutes another man in the restaurant notices the live stream and figured out what was going on. Off camera he can be heard yelling out to the restaurant the visitor was there to meet little girls.

That man then tells the visitor, “You're really sick you know that? You really ought to get f-----g snuffed for that,” all while Decker records and tries to get the visitor to admit to his alleged crimes.

A few minutes later city police, who were watching the stream, showed up and took the visitor away for questioning. No arrests were made.

Norwich Chief Rodney Marsh released this statement Thursday: “In regard to the individual in the Norwich area using social media platforms and recording contacts with civilians; the Norwich PD is not currently collaborating with that individual.

“Officers have been instructed that if they respond to a call involving that individual and what he is recording, they are to document any pertinent information. That information will then be reviewed with the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office.”

The WEB YouTube channel contains nearly 50 public videos of recorded incidents across the country, including the recent ones in Norwich.

Decker says the videos are of adults seeking underage sexual encounters with minors or sending/seeking sexual material, all of which Decker said he records and hands over to local police.

Responding to concerns, Decker said even police make mistakes sometimes, and what was important was protecting kids. He said many of the cases would have gone unnoticed otherwise, and added he has caught teachers, service members, and many others, some of which he said have been either fired, or arrested.

At the very least, Decker does his best to warn anyone who'll watch his streams.

He uses female actors and creates fake sexual images using software, and said he never reaches out to anyone first. He sets up decoy accounts on social media dating sites that require user to be 18, but does not list an age.

He said he always tells anyone who reaches out to the decoy account they are under 18 years of age, often several years younger, and/or whenever they begin texting suggestive messages or material.

“All they have to do is block me. It's that easy,” he said.