November 6, 2012
Police arrested three men last month in an undercover Internet sex sting involving the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement, bringing the total number of arrests for the entire operation to 10.
The undercover sting, named Operation Tailfeather, used detectives posing as underage girls exchanging online communications through e-commerce sites and talking on the phone with the alleged suspects.
According to a spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, the three men most recently arrested did not actually travel to meet anyone for sex. They only allegedly carried on conversations with undercover law enforcement officers.
The conversations and alleged photos exchanged apparently led detectives to charge the men.
Each of the men arrested face a range of charges involving the online solicitation of a minor.
Charges stemming from soliciting a minor online can often be the result of police entrapment, but it is important to be aware that these accusations can also erupt from an honest mistake or accident. Individuals are charged with this crime when they are believed to have engaged in online sexual conversations with a minor. However, the person may have been under the impression they were actually talking to an adult. Despite the reasons for the charges against you, it is vital to contact a sex crimes defense lawyer immediately to begin applying appropriate defenses or identifying any mitigating factors that could result in charges against you being significantly reduced or dropped entirely.
In cases involving the solicitation of a minor online, state prosecutors are required to prove every element of this offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These cases are often complex, which can make it hard for the State to prove its case against you. Because of this, any reasonable doubt could result in a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. Therefore, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to contact a Florida Internet Solicitation Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton to help you establish the most effective legal defense for your unique situation. To begin fighting the allegations against you, contact us online or call our Gainesville office at 352-264-7800 or reach us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529.