In a press release issued Thursday morning, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – Newfoundland and Labrador - Internet Child Exploitation Unit said it is asking for the public's assistance to identify victims of a man who had been exploiting children online from at least November of 2015 until June of 2016.
While Clarke is not named specifically in the press release, it does say the suspect is a 65-year-old Deer Lake man convicted of the same charges that Clarke pleaded guilty to in June. The release also indicates the suspect used the pseudonym Ammon Charlebois while online, the same name the court heard Clarke had used in the offences for which he was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
The continuing investigation has revealed Clarke, a former Lions Club member and former owner of a Tim Hortons franchise in Deer Lake, is suspected to have been luring children online while pretending to be a teenaged boy. Possible victims, according to investigators, are believed to be between the ages of 10 and 15 and may be unaware they have been victimized.
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Additionally, the investigation indicates Clarke has contacted children through social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and Skype which permitted him to communicate with children from all over the world. Investigators believe there may be additional victims in Newfoundland and Labrador, other areas of Canada and possibly the United States and United Kingdom.
In addition to a Facebook profile under the user name of Ammon Charlebois, Clarke is suspected of also using the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also suspected of using the following Skype user names: ammon.charlebois and oe-clarke.
The police are asking that parents speak with their children to see if they may have had contact with any of these online profiles via Facebook, Instagram, Skype or email. Police further request to be notified of cases where such contact is believed to have occurred.
The investigators said, while it may be difficult for victims and/or their families to come forward, any additional information is important to the investigation and could help prevent similar crimes by online predators.
The police hope to speak to as many victims as possible.
Person(s) with information to report on this matter can call police at 1-800-709-7267.
Anyone with information about this crime who wishes to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIP190 + your message to 'CRIMES' (274637), or submit a webtip atwww.nlcrimestoppers.com.