(970 WFLA) - Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced the results of "Operation Cyber Vigilance," the Florida Sheriff's Task Force Spring/Summer operation which sought out individuals who chat with "minors" on line for the purpose of meeting them and engaging them in sexual activity. Officials say the joint initiative netted 132 arrests and 282 arrest charges.
The investigations began March 19, 2014 and went through July 20, 2014.
The suspects were arrested on a variety of charges, the most common ones being traveling to meet a minor and using an on-line service to lure/entice a minor. Other charges included narcotics related offenses, active fugitive warrants and resisting arrest.
The arrested suspects ranged in ages from their 20s through 70s; and came from various walks of life to include postal worker, pizza deliveryman, landscaper, a former law enforcement officer and a Disney employee.
The Florida Sheriffs Task Force decided in 2013 to emphasize and highlight these inter-agency investigations in 2014 to help protect Florida's children from on line predators and exploitation, and to bring public awareness to internet and social network safety for children. A total of nine sheriff's offices hosted operations, eight others contributed personnel and resources to the operation.
After Operation Cyber Vigilance was announced, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office released a parent tip sheet with a list of sheriff's offices that offer software that parents can use to monitor their child's internet use.
File Photo Credit 970 WFLA/S. Parker