Southington man charged with attempt to possess child porn after POPsquad video

BRISTOL – A Southington man who is already a registered sex offender appeared before a Bristol Superior Court judge on Tuesday facing new charges.

Southington Police arrested Keith Dubin, 31, on Monday. He is charged with criminal attempt to commit risk of injury to a minor and criminal attempt to possess child pornography.

Police said they learned on Friday that Dubin was featured in a video posted on the POPsquad website, in which he admits he planned to meet up with a minor.

POP stands for “Prey on Predators.” Its creator goes by the name “Incognito” and has told FOX61 he created the site to protect children from internet predators.

The video featuring Dubin was posted on Friday. It shows “Incognito” confronting Dubin outside of a Dunkin Donuts in Plantsville. Police said Dubin thought he was meeting up with a 14-year-old boy that he had spoken with on a dating app. In reality, he had been chatting with “Incognito.”

Southington police said they contacted “Incognito” who gave detectives the video and the chat logs from his conversations with Dubin dating back to July 21.

An arrest warrant details those conversations. “Incognito” told Dubin he was 14, but Dubin proceeded to request intimate photos of the minor and to set up the meeting at Dunkin' Donuts.

“Obviously, ['Incognito'] provided the information that was integral to getting the arrest warrant, the search warrant and making the arrest,” said Lt. Stephen Elliott of the Southington Police Department.

In court on Tuesday, a judge kept Dubin's bond at $100,000. If he does post bond, Dubin cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 16 in person or online.

Dubin is a registered sex offender with a criminal history that includes prior convictions for child pornography and risk of injury to a minor. He also has four alleged probation violations.

Public defender Alfonzo Sirica questioned POPsquad’s tactics in court saying “Incognito” send photos to Dubin and gave Dubin his phone number.

“Maybe entrapment is too strong of a word, but there’s certainly some enticing going on,” said Sirica.

Lt. Elliott said the evidence “Incognito” gave them was given the same consideration they would give evidence in any other case. Detectives determined it was legitimate and something they could use toward an arrest and prosecution.

But police say the way that evidence was gathered does come with risks.

Lt. Elliott said, “['Incognito'] has great intentions, but he is not a police officer and he is not acting as an agent of the police department. So he has to be careful and that’s the message we'd put to the public. You need to be very careful before you engage in this because you don't know who you’re going to meet.”