3 Fort Drum soldiers, 7 civilians charged with trying to exploit children online

The Department of the Army Criminal Investigative Division and New York State Police‘s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Computer Crime Unit conducted an operation targeting adults attempting to exploit children online. The investigation started in September 2022 with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A total of 10 men were caught contacting children online through multiple platforms. Three of them were active duty soldiers stationed at Fort Drum in Jefferson County, New York, United States.


One of the seven civilians is from Kentucky, USA while the other six are from New York. Here is the list:

  1. Aimin Jiang, 34, Watertown, New York
  2. Brian T. LaPlatney, 29, Harrisville, New York
  3. David L. Eads, 51, Brownville, New York
  4. John W. Brown, 47, Chaumont, New York
  5. Michael J. Steria, 49, Carthage, New York
  6. Rene L. St. Pierre, 54, Ogdensburg, New York
  7. Travis R. Petrey, 35, Barbourville, Kentucky

The seven civilians were charged with attempted rape in the second degree. Here is the list of the three Fort Drum soldiers who were arrested:

  1. Aaron Alonzo Vazquez
  2. Devir Walker
  3. Jonas Santaella

Alonzo Vazquez, Walker and Santaella were each charged with attempted sexual assault of a child. Alonzo Vazquez and Santaella were also charged with pandering and attempted pandering, respectively.


Fort Drum is home to the 10th Mountain Division. The U.S. Army military reservation consists of 107,265 acres.

In 2014, a 60-megawatt biofuel power plant was established to provide energy for Fort Drum. In 2015, Diana M. Holland was promoted to become the first woman general at the base.

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