Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
11 ARRESTED IN JOINT OPERATION ‘DEVIANT DESIRE’ TARGETING INTERNET PREDATORS
Eleven men accused of traveling to meet a minor for sex were arrested in the latest undercover sting operation in Volusia County, Sheriff Mike Chitwood and partner agencies announced in a news conference this morning.
The five-day “Operation Deviant Desire” resulted in the arrests of defendants ranging in age from 19 to 55 years old on various felony charges, including using a computer to lure a child, traveling to seduce/solicit/lure/entice a child, attempted lewd or lascivious battery and using a 2-way communications device to commit a felony.
“It makes you want to throw up, to listen to what these guys are requesting a 14-year-old perform on them, and what they want to perform on a 14-year-old,” Sheriff Chitwood said in a Tuesday morning news conference attended by several other agencies that participated in the effort. Sheriff Chitwood credited the Task Force members with working around the clock to identify and arrest predators seeking sexual activity with children, and again warned parents that the Internet can be a dangerous place for kids whose activities aren’t monitored.
The other clear message was for the predators, who continue to travel to meet children for sex despite the obvious knowledge that these stings exist.
As in so many other operations, undercover detectives posing as 14- and 15-year-old children chatted with the suspects before each man traveled to meet the child at public locations in Volusia County.
Those arrested, listed along with a brief, partial excerpt from their conversations, were:
The agencies participating in this North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force operation included the Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Brevard, Putnam and Clay sheriff’s offices, police from Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Gainesville and Orange Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office for the 7th Judicial Circuit.