Sarasota, Fla.(970 WFLA)- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 21 people during Operation Intercept V, an initiative to protect Sarasota County children from online predators.
Suspects ranging in age from 22-58 responded to Internet-based ads, online apps or social media sites and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations.
One of the suspects promised to stay with a 14-year-old child if he impregnated her while another agreed to have sex with who he believed was a 12-year-old. More than four of the men brought condoms and some offered to bring drugs. Several sent explicit photos. Ultimately they all traveled with the intent to have sex with a male or female child.
“You would think the frequency of Internet predator operations here in Sarasota County and surrounding jurisdictions would reduce the number of criminals prowling online for the sole purpose of sexually exploiting children,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Unfortunately, for some reason, they still think it’s OK to disrupt our community and the children within it. Let this be a reminder for parents to stay cognizant of what their children are doing in this new age of technology. Remember to be a parent. It’s OK to ask questions.”
In response to Operation Intercept, which led to the arrest of 21 men engaging in illicit, criminal behavior with children online, we developed this graphic to inform parents of nine mobile applications they should know about. By SHARING this graphic, you too, can help protect our next generation.
Photo and graphic credit: Sarasota Sheriff's Office