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Polk County Undercover Sex Sting Yields Multiple Arrests | Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys Whittel & Melton


The Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has conducted a multi-agency undercover operation known as “Operation Predator V,” leading to the arrest of eight people for online sex crimes against minors.

Including assistance from the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, the Lakeland, Davenport, Auburndale, and Lake Wales police departments, the investigation took place from February 22 to 29.

Authorities said the suspects talked to and targeted people they believed to be kids or adults with internet access to kids.

After reportedly turning up to an undercover site in Polk County on multiple allegedly offering to pay hundreds of dollars to have sex with someone they believed to be a child, five of those apprehended were charged with human trafficking.

Investigators charged eight suspects with 27 felonies in total. The men charged range in ages 27-61.

Internet sting operations conducted by law enforcement all over the country are still very common, despite TV shows following these covert operations and media outlets reporting on alleged predators being arrested in these stings daily. In these undercover operations, police officers may pretend to be minors in an internet chat room or on social media sites. They will use several methods to attempt to turn the conversation sexual, and shift conversations into a meetup for a sexual encounter. Once the unsuspecting adult arrives at the designated meeting location, police officers will make an arrest and charge the individual with a sex crime.

After Being Targeted Online, What Should You Do?

Seeking legal representation for sexual offenses should be your priority if you are accused of any sexual offenses after any communications with undercover law enforcement. Throughout this unpleasant and stressful procedure, we are here to help you.

Anyone can make the mistake of chatting online with the wrong person or searching for an escort online only to find themselves wrapped up in an online undercover sting operation. Our Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand the ways law enforcement uses the internet, social media, and all other related technologies to make arrests of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Criminal cases involving sex crimes of any kind, especially those involving minors, are all charged as felonies in the state of Florida. You could be looking at jail or prison time, significant fines, sex offender registration, probation and more. In addition to the criminal consequences, public disclosure of your arrest or conviction can damage your career and personal relationships.

Being accused of sexual misconduct is a severe offense, regardless of the specifics of your case. That does not, however, imply that you have no hope. Working with our sex crimes lawyers will help you comprehend your legal challenges and from there, we can develop a defense plan to get your case resolved as favorably as possible. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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