Operation Cyber Guardian Fall Haul Nets 13 Men Accused of Soliciting Minors for Sex in Polk County

Men who said they were HIV positive, an Amazon delivery driver and a Disney Springs worker were among more than a dozen arrested last week on charges of soliciting minors for sex.

The 13 men are facing charges after Polk County investigators said the men solicited minors between 13 and 14 years old for sex. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office called the online undercover operation “Operation Cyber Guardian Fall Haul.”

Investigators claim the men thought they were meeting up with the minors for sex, but instead, they were met with undercover detectives.

According to detectives, some of the men brought sex items or gifts such as an iPhone.

Deputies allege one of the men said he was HIV positive but still intended to engage in unprotected sex. Deputies said other arrestees include a man who said he was a former military police officer on probation for lewd/lascivious molestation of a child, and a man who said he works at The Boathouse Restaurant at Disney Springs.

All together, they are facing a total of 58 charges, including attempted lewd lascivious molestation, traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and transmitting material harmful to a minor.

During undercover sex stings, law enforcement officers will pose online as young male and female teens looking to have sex with older adult males. Sometimes the officers may pose as the parent of a child looking for sex. Other times, the undercover deputies pretend to be the child themselves.

There are defenses that can be used to combat the charges associated with online child sex sting. If you’ve been arrested in connection with an internet child sex sting operation, make sure you contact our Florida Internet Solicitation Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton who have the knowledge and experience with these kinds of matters. Doing so will give you the best chance of avoiding a lengthy prison sentence and other serious consequences. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you with your online child sex sting case.

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