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12 Arrested In Undercover Sting Targeting Child Predators

Florida has some of the toughest laws when it comes to meeting minors for sex. Many adults prey on children online because they think they won’t get caught. They visit online chat rooms and try to coerce children to meet with them for sex. Sometimes they are successful. In some cases, though, a police officer is posing as the child, leading to an arrest.

This was what recently happened in Florida as an undercover sting operation netted a dozen arrests. Called Operation Child Protector II, the operation led to 12 men getting arrested in Polk County. The Auburndale and Winter Haven police departments collaborated on the operation.

Four of the suspects were arrested after they went to a location to have sex with girls they thought were 13 or 15 years old. They were instead met by undercover law enforcement officials

The other eight suspects were arrested on warrants after they allegedly sent young girls sexually explicit content.

In total, the 12 suspects face 49 felony charges. Nine of the suspects had no prior criminal record. All but two are from Florida.

The suspects are as follows:

  • A 67-year-old man from Lakeland who faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, use of a computer to seduce a child, and transmission of material harmful to minor.
  • A 62-year-old man from Palm Beach Gardens who faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
  • A 26-year-old man from Clermont who faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
  • A 20-year-old man from Orlando who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 26-year-old man from Tallahassee who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 43-year-old man from Lehigh Acres who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 26-year-old man from Tampa who faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, and use of a computer to seduce a child.
  • A 33-year-old man from Tampa who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 30-year-old man from Reunion who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 57-year-old man from Kissimmee who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, transmission of material harmful to a minor, and interference with custody.
  • A 40-year-old man from Saint Clair, Michigan who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
  • A 66-year-old man from Ozark, Alabama who faces charges of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony and transmission of material harmful to a minor.

Contact a Legal Professional for Help

In Florida, laws are in place to protect minors from sex offenses initiated by adults. However, there are strong defenses in these types of cases, including the defense of entrapment.

If you are facing charges of traveling to meet a minor, you need a Florida minor sex offense lawyer from the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit on your side. This is a state and federal offense that can result in many years in prison. To get started, fill out the online form or call our office at (352) 505-1799.

Source:

news10.com/news/disney-bus-driver-among-12-arrested-in-florida-child-predator-sting-sheriff-says/#:~:text=(WFLA)%20%E2%80%94%20Twelve%20people%20have,and%20Winter%20Haven%20police%20departments

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