Operation SpiderWeb 2 was the name police authorities gave to an internet-based scheme to catch sex offenders attempting to solicit minors in Orange County, Florida. The sex sting led to the arrest of 31 Florida males who were lured to the arrest location by police drafted online posts offering “fun” with underage kids.
The Orange County sheriff stated to the press that all the individuals arrested were Florida natives. “We didn’t have anyone from out of state come in during this operation. They all were pretty much here,” he said. The Police reports show that the men arrested were between the ages of 18 and 59.
Among those arrested were a 29-year old Iraqi war veteran and local Florida National Guard reservist. After the arrest, the solider allegedly told police his life was now over and that exposure to illegal activities during his tour in Iraq had caused the problem.
The postings published by the Florida authorities used to prompt the string were ambiguously disguised as coming from a stepfather of a teenage girl described as “open naturalist looking for outside fun,” and “liberated and interested in learning more,” authorities reported.
After responding to the various posts by e-mail, those arrested set up a “meeting location” via text message. The 31 men were arrested upon arrival to the sting location before any activity had occurred. The men were then held in police custody and no details have been released concerning any charges.
Sex related offenses can have serious long-term consequences that will impact the rest a person’s life. Working with a forceful and effective attorney as soon as possible may help avoid these serious consequences. Even before charges are ever filed, if you have reason to believe you will or are being investigated for sex crimes, contacting a criminal defense lawyer can aid in protecting your rights.
Source: NY Daily News, “Florida cops nab 31 pervs in child sex sting,” Victoria Cavaliere, Nov. 1, 2012