August 7, 2012
Whittel & Melton 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
Cybercrimes detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that after a week-long undercover operation, 26 men have been arrested and charged with traveling to meet children for sex.
The sting, labeled Operation Take Two, involved undercover detectives posing as children or guardians of children to catch alleged predators looking to engage in sexual activity with minors. According to the agency, a vacant Tavares home was used as a meeting place.
The men arrested range in age from 19 to 69 years old and are residents of Lake or surrounding counties, except for one man who allegedly traveled from Georgia. Among those arrested include a Disney contractor, an Air National Guard pilot and a local high school volunteer.
According to police, many of the men arrived with condoms, alcohol or marijuana. One man allegedly had a gun in his vehicle. By the end of the sweep, deputies had seized four vehicles.
This is the second round of this sting conducted by the agency. In 2011, 32 arrests were made.
Florida law enforcement regularly conducts these types of sex cybercrime sweeps. Whether departments choose to work alone or join forces, these undercover sex traps are usually performed in a similar manner. Detectives will comb through known chat rooms or web sites and search for those they believe are interested in meeting with a child for sex. After a meeting is arranged, police will be waiting at the vacant residence to make an arrest.
The penalties associated with charges stemming from a sex sting arrest are very serious. Not only will you face possible prison time if convicted, but you will be required to register as a sex offender. This means that the crime will follow you for the rest of your life, placing restrictions on virtually every aspect of your life, including where you can live and work.
Undercover sex stings, like Operation Take Two, are extremely fact specific. It is essential to scrutinize every conversation between a suspect and detectives to determine whether the dialogue actually violates the law. Additionally, examining the conversations may reveal police entrapment, which can ultimately lead to a dismissal of charges.
It is very easy for innocent people to become the targets of criminal charges resulting from computer crime task force investigations. The Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are dedicated to helping you fight these charges. No matter what the charge, we make every effort to see that you avoid the maximum penalties.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in an undercover cyber sting in Lake County or elsewhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).