A school teacher, two military men, a former Department of Corrections employee, a janitor and a bank teller were just a few of the 17 men arrested on May 4 in an undercover sex trap called “Operation Sheepdog” conducted by the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The undercover officers performed what has become standard in Florida for a sex sting operation; they posed as children and parents in Internet chat rooms looking to make sexual encounters. According to reports, the officers never initiated sexual liaisons and the suspects supposedly made plans to meet with the undercover agents at a home in St. Johns County.
The men arrested in the sex sting operation ranged in age from 22-55. The men are accused of making plans to meet up with children ages 8-15.
Despite the severity of the sex crimes charges being brought against you, the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are prepared to challenge the prosecution’s case and aggressively defend your rights. In most undercover Internet sex traps, prosecutors will attempt to charge you with a slew of different crimes. Depending on the specifics associated with your case, prosecutors could charge you with one count for every alleged illegal solicitation made. This adds up quickly when each count could result in five years in prison. For traveling to meet a minor with any intentions of sexual activity, you could be facing a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. At Whittel & Melton we are always anticipating the prosecution’s next move while maintaining the highest level of professionalism.
When you are charged with a sex crime of any nature, the issues of identification, forensic evidence and any witness testimony should always be investigated by your attorney. Some issues surrounding Internet sex crimes include the proper protocols for collecting, preserving and storing alleged criminal activity and a proper Internet Sex Sting Attorney can ask all the right initial questions. Where was any electronic evidence collected? Was it copied from a master electronic device that has been conserved for scrutiny by the defense? What absolute proof is there, if any, that you were the sender and receiver of any electronic evidence? Were you unaware of an Internet hack job performed on your computer that resulted in the storage of explicit photos without your realization?
If you have been charged with the solicitation of a minor via the Internet anywhere in the state of Florida, including St. Augustine, Orlando, Jacksonville, Gainesville, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or reach us toll-free at 1-866-608-5529.
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