42 Arrested in Polk County Undercover Sex Sting

An undercover sex sting in Polk County has resulted in the arrest of 42 people.

Detectives served search warrants and arrested 18 suspects who allegedly engaged in the promotion, possession, and distribution of child pornography.  

Officials said one of the suspects is a woman.

A warrant was issued for a suspect also wanted for possession of child pornography.

Detectives conducted compliance checks on sex offenders, predators, and probationers whose violations stemmed from sex offenses, resulting in the arrest of 21 suspects who failed to register.

Three others were arrested during the operation, but not for child sex crimes.

Of the 21 sexual offenders and alleged predators arrested, five were designated as predators and 16 as offenders.

A sexual offender is a person who has been convicted of a qualifying sexual offense in Florida or another jurisdiction.  A sexual predator is a person who has been convicted of sexually violent offenses and has a court written order designating the person as a sexual predator or an individual who is civilly committed under the state Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predator Act and has a written court order designation.

Being charged with a sex crime like the promotion, possession, or distribution of child pornography can be devastating. The social stigma attached to these crimes are harsh and you could also face a lengthy prison sentence followed by sex offender registration.

Police and prosecutors take child porn cases very seriously. Undercover stings are conducted quite often with the hopes of catching so-called “deviants,” as this case shows. Understand that you do not have to be involved in taking or distributing pictures to face serious charges. Just downloading or viewing images can be enough to be arrested and charged with a crime.

Our Florida Child Pornography Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have defended many people who found themselves caught on the wrong side of an undercover child sex sting. We know the complex and technical nature of these cases and can apply our knowledge as former prosecutors to your defense.

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for the legal help you need.