Detectives nab convicted sex offender, who was on internet gaming sites

Christopher Shea is accused of being on the Internet in violation of his probation. (MCSO)

When your child is on the internet, do you really know who they are talking to?

Martin County detectives have arrested a man they say was talking to children on gaming sites.

A man that is a convicted sex offender.

“He admitted to chatting with children online,” said Det. Sgt. Matthew Immordino, with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

Immordino says 33-year-old Christopher Shea, a convicted sexual offender from Hobe Sound, was trolling gaming sites on the Internet and talking to kids.

Because he is on probation, he’s not supposed to be on the internet at all, let alone chatting with children. In fact, he can’t even own an iPhone or a computer.

So when detectives got a tip that he was online, they nabbed him.

“He told us that he downloaded the games, he would play on the games and he would chat with people in the chat rooms,” Immordino said.

Investigators say he was going to gaming sites such as Battlefield, Fortnite, First Person Shooter and Forza.

Sites that attract children and adolescents.

Detectives say Shea---who is on probation for sending pornography to children---was using the screen names like Mr. Peepers and Cut-off Burrito.

“Based upon what he’s done in the past, it is troubling because you wouldn’t want somebody like this that has that type of mentality to be talking to your children,” he said.

Officials say the gaming sites are an easy place to gain a child’s trust and it’s easy for an adult to have a conversation with a child this way.

Immordino says they have no evidence that Shea tried to arrange any meetings with kids he was chatting with.

But he says it might’ve led to that if he had not been caught.

“We don’t want anybody, a guy like this in our neighborhoods preying on our children, and especially now that we know he’s a sex offender, he has already done something like this in the past," Immordino said. "If he’s talking to one kid, he’s talking to another and it’ll keep going on and on."

Martin County Sheriff’s Office officials say Shea admitted borrowing friends and family members’ phones to access the internet. He’s being held without bond.

They're urging parents to talk to their children about their internet use. If a parent discovers that their child had any interaction on a gaming site with someone using the screen name Mr. Peepers or Cut-Off Burrito, they should call the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at 772-220-7000.

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