August 30, 2012
Whittel & Melton 1-866-608-5LAW (5529) – Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys
On Friday, federal prosecutors announced they would continue handling the prosecution of three men accused of traveling to Bay County to engage in sex with minors.
The trio was arrested in June along with nine other men in a sting operation conducted by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Undercover officers posed as minors looking to arrange meetings with men they met online. Once the men showed up at the meeting location, they were arrested.
The men indicted include a 47-year-old Saraland, Alabama man, a 40-year-old Gadsden, Alabama man and a 33-year-old man from Pensacola, Florida. Each man has been charged with knowingly attempting to persuade, induce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. The 47-year-old man faces an additional charge of traveling to meet a minor.
All of the men face between 10 years to life behind bars and fines up to $250,000. The man facing the additional charge of traveling to meet a minor could be subject to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
The main goal of an undercover Internet sting operation is to catch so-called predators that are attempting to partake in illegal sexual conduct via the Internet. What most people fail to realize is that no actual sexual contact or meeting with a child must take place in order for solicitation charges to be filed. Simply trying to set up a meeting with a minor for sexual purposes can result in criminal charges.
If you are caught in an Internet sex trap and arrested for traveling to meet a minor or soliciting or enticing a child, you could be facing very serious consequences. Federal law criminalizes numerous actions related to children and the Internet and these behaviors are prosecuted quite aggressively. While these crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences, federal prosecutors tend to push for the maximum penalties. While child sex crimes charges stemming from an undercover sex sting are undoubtedly severe, it is important to remember that there are viable defenses to these crimes. The Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you discover your options for responding to charges brought on by an Internet sex trap.
After you have been arrested in an undercover sting operation, the best thing you can do for yourself is to remain silent. Anything you say to defend yourself to police can be twisted and used against you in court. By contacting the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton right away, we can help you tackle the accusations being made against you.
If you are facing sex crimes charges as a result of an undercover sex sting operation anywhere 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).