Authorities in Florida have arrested 12 suspects of attempting to have sex with a minor as part of an undercover operation targeting predators.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said “Operation Lucky Strike,” a tactical covert internet crime against children, has been launched to catch dangerous cyber predators trying to have sex with children. .
During the operation, law enforcement officers posed as minors on various websites and waited to be solicited through online messages. The suspect, though aware of the child’s age, chose to send sexually explicit photos, messages, and detailed requests for various sexual acts he wished to perform with the child.
Some of the suspects had driven for over an hour believing they were meeting minors to have sex. However, upon their arrival, they were arrested by law enforcement officers.
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Citrus County Sheriff’s Office working with U.S. Secret Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and Tavares Police Department to apprehend suspect Did.
Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement, “These abominably sick individuals prey on children for their own perverted gain.” knowingly sending sexually explicit messages online to minors and, if not worse, traveling hours to meet children with the intent to commit these offensive acts.”
“Child predation is absolutely despicable,” he continued. “I am very proud of the extraordinary partnership our agency has with law enforcement, who have helped bring these monsters to justice and keep them off our streets. If you can get even one predator out of the street with a smart move, you’re successful.This time, we stopped 12 unscrupulous criminals, so I think Lucky Strike is a big success.”
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Christian Gabriel Rosado Marrero, Devin Michael Cordeiro, Franklin Lezama, Jeff D. Adams, Sean Robert Mooney, Robert Alan Rankin, Matthew Leathers, Glenn Cunningham, James Patrick Lake, Mark Phillip Warner Lovrick, Alex Anthony Francis and Ralph Joseph Perkins are taken into custody in connection with the operation taken.
Authorities said 11 suspects were arrested for attempting to have sex with a minor, and Rankin was arrested for possession of controlled substances and related paraphernalia as an accomplice in taking Mooney to the meeting place. I was.