March 10, 2022 - Predator Poachers, a group of private citizens out of Houston, Texas, assisted in initiating the arrest of a Timpson man for soliciting a minor for sex at a local retail store in Center.
According to the Center Police Department, they were called to the Tractor Supply on Friday evening, March 3, 2023 and upon arrival located four individuals near the loading dock on the side of the store. The first officer on scene was notified immediately of an undercover operation by private citizens regarding a child predator who had solicited sex from a person the predator believed to be a 13-year-old female.
The Center Police Department began their investigation and James Alan Burke, 33 of Timpson, was arrested. At the time of the incident, he was an employee of the store. Burke was taken into custody without incident and charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor as well as four counts of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Requirements. He is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail with a bond of $675,000 for the charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor and bonds of $100,000 on each of the four charges of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Requirements for a total of $1,075,000 in bonds set by Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1.
The Center Police Department advised this is an ongoing investigation and no additional information is available at this time.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety records, Burke is a lifetime sex offender and his last reported verification on record was from July 21, 2022 with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. In 2013, Burke was convicted with sexual assault in the fourth degree in Arkansas where the victim was a 14-year-old female.
Predator Poachers makes online profiles of minor children and publishes them on different social media websites where a predator can message and solicit them for sex.
A video of the encounter with James Alan Burke was made and lasted over 1 hour starting from the moment the group walked into the store with a decoy until after the Center PD showed up on scene. At 4 minutes into the video, Burke is approached by the interviewer just as he is showing the girl the bathroom door.
The interviewer tells Burke he has everything saved from his correspondence with the 13-year-old showing him a stack of papers of the messages. He adds he just wants to talk to him. One of his first questions was “Why were you bringing her to the bathroom?” Burke replies, “I actually wasn’t going to do anything, I really wasn’t, I just was going to meet her.” He added, “I was wanting to meet her, she seemed cool.”
At 12 minutes, the interviewer is telling Burke he understands he is employed and a worker which is good and Burke adds, “Not to mention I’m ordained.” The interviewer replies, “Oh, you’re an ordained minister” and Burke answers, “Pagan minister, yeah.” As the conversation continues, the interviewer keeps working to get Burke to confirm the messages are his. Burke claimed some of the messages being presented were not him because his account had been hacked.
Burke confirms at just over 25 minutes that there were some requests for pictures but they were just getting carried away type of things. The interviewer asks point blank, “Did you ask for nudes?” and Burke grimaces as he nods saying, “But thankfully she declined.” He then turned to the girl decoy and says, “Thank you, by the way” and grins. The interviewer reiterated, “Ok, but you asked for…” and Burke repeats in a louder tone, “It was requested but thankfully she had a better mind.” Burke then looks at the girl decoy and asks her how old she is and she replies 26. Burke then adds, “They still would have been legal nudes. Thankfully.” The interviewer replies, “Well this isn’t, you weren’t talking to her, this is just somebody that looks like her. But honestly you were requesting pictures of who you thought was 13. So, you know.”
The interviewer pushed Burke more regarding exactly what pictures he requested and Burke just kept saying “thankfully nothing was sent and I’m really glad.” Burke gave the excuse of it was just getting carried away. The more the interviewer read out loud the requests Burke made of the 13-year-old, Burke covered his eyes saying, “Yes, yes, yes, I know, I’m not going to deny it. I just don’t want to be in trouble. I really don’t.” The interviewer offered some sympathy and suggested maybe it’s too much time on the internet. Burke replies that he is going to delete all his accounts. Their conversation continued regarding the different social media platforms and the number of underage users online pretending to be older.
After checking on something at work, Burke returns to talk. The interviewer continued addressing the messages between Burke and the 13-year-old. The messages from the night before their scheduled meeting were very graphic descriptions of things they could do. One of the least graphic messages from Burke the interviewer read aloud included, “I crave you. You want me to be your first.”
The interviewer got more direct saying this isn’t rookie stuff and I think you got carried away. Burke confessed in reference to the 13-year-old, “I was not going to force it… if she was willing, yeah.” The interviewer asked, “Was sex going to happen if she was willing,” and Burke covered his month and responded, “Most likely. If I didn’t back out, because, you know, the fear of getting caught.”
At 1 hour and 4 minutes, the Center Police Department showed up on scene. Burke quickly talks to the officers saying they are just talking about stuff in Fort Smith, Arkansas when the interviewer says, “He invited a 13-year-old girl to his work to have sex with her and has child porn that he’d received.” Burke said, “There weren’t no porn.” A camera person with the citizen group added, “He’s also a sex offender on the run.”
As the officer is talking to the interviewer, Burke can be heard saying repeatedly, “I’m going to jail. I’m going to jail.” When the officer is informed Burke has a warrant out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Burke responds, “It is an in state pickup only.”