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PSL: 'Predator Poachers' Child Sex Sting Leads to Arrest of Rodney Lenard Hickman on Obscene Communication and Child Cruelty Charges

Rodney Hickman
Rodney Hickman

Port St. Lucie - Wednesday January 24, 2024: A sting operation conducted by 'Predator Poachers' led to the arrest of 27 year old Rodney Lenard Hickman of Port St. Lucie last week.

Port St. Lucie Police (PSLPD) have charged Hickman with two felonies:

  • Obscene Communication – Traveling to Meet After Using a Computer to Lure a Child
  • Cruelty Towards a Child – Transmitting Information Harmful to Minors.

The Predator Poachers are a volunteer, non-profit vigilante organization that conducts sting operations on adults who seek sexual activities with minors. They do that by creating fake accounts on social media and dating apps. They pose as minors seeking sex. When an adult messages the account, the fake account is immediately updated revealing to the adult that the account holder is underage. If the adult continues to message the account, an in person meeting is set up, and law enforcement is notified.

That's what happened on January 18th when Predator Poachers called PSLPD at 9:17 p.m. asking for a patrol unit to come to the 1900 block of SE Hillmoor Drive.
When officers arrived they were met by members of the Predator Poachers, their camera crew, and the suspect, Rodney Hickman.

According to a release from PSLPD, Hickman is alleged to have first contacted a fake Predator Poacher account on September 9th last year when he "initiated a message to an Instagram account that posed as 'Lilly,' a 13-year-old" girl.

Hickman and 'Lilly' began to text each other frequently over the following months. Their texts included one from Hickman who revealed he was 27 years old, and another from the fake 'Lilly' account stating she was 13. Eventually, Hickman sent a 'Lilly' a photograph of a sexual organ.

The texting eventually led up to Hickman arranging an in-person sexual encounter on January 18th with the fake 'Lilly' on SE Hillmoor Drive where a group from Predator Poachers was waiting.

Upon Hickman’s arrival, he was confronted by the Predator Poachers group who then notified law enforcement.

PSLPD detectives seized Hickman's phone to conduct a forensic examination. Hickman was taken to the St. Lucie County Jail.