A Gainesville barber was one of seven men arrested in a Volusia County internet sex sting.
The 34-year-old was arrested at a RaceTrac station in Deltona over the weekend. He allegedly told Volusia County sheriff’s deputies he only came to the meeting place because he believed it was an undercover sting and he thought it would be cool to see it in action.
The man was arrested and is accused of engaging in sexually charged chats and texts with an undercover detective he believed was a 14-year-old girl.
The man was in custody Monday at the Volusia County jail in lieu of $40,000 bond. The charges against him:
- use of a two-way communications device to commit a felony
- attempted lewd and lascivious sexual battery on child
- traveling to meet a child after luring the child via computer
- use of a computer to lure a child.
There were six other men arrested in the sting, which started last Wednesday and concluded around 4 a.m. Sunday and was dubbed Operation Unlawful Attraction.
Undercover sting operations are very common these days. They start with some online chats and lead to phone calls, texts and conclude with a meetup. Police will pose as minors or the guardians of minors online and attempt to catch online “predators.”
The interesting thing about these stings is that you can be arrested even if you did not actually commit a crime. Showing up to an arranged meeting spot is enough to seal the deal and you will be carted off to jail right then and there. Once arrested, it is best to invoke your right to remain silent until you have secured legal representation. Regardless of your innocence, police will do everything they can to twist your words around to work against you in court.