Online sex sting leads to 12 arrests in Sarasota County

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested 12 people in an online predator sting, after they say the suspects arranged to have sex with minors -- including one man who even agreed to get a 14 year old girl pregnant.

Operation Intercept III was a 3-day operation to protect Sarasota County children from online predators.  Suspects ranging in age from 20-50 responded to Internet-based ads, online apps or social media sites and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations.

One of the suspects is an armed security guard who thought he was going to have sex with a mother and her 12-year-old daughter. Some of the men sent explicit photos and one brought drugs. A 44-year-old man agreed to get a 14-year-old girl pregnant. Ultimately they all traveled with the intent to have sex with a male or female child, according to investigators.

 

(Video courtesy the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

Arrested during the operation were:

  • 37-year-old Brian Hawley of Fort Myers; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempt, and two counts of Transmission of Materials Harmful to Minors.
  • 50-year-old Raymond Kidder of Clearwater; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 24-year-old Blake Holliday of Sarasota; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 24-year-old Daniel Ferris of Sarasota; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 38-year-old Edgar Covarrubias-Garcia of Sarasota; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 43-year-old Michael Parent of Sarasota; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted, and Transmission of Materials Harmful to Minors.
  • 44-year-old Harry Walters of Sarasota, charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 30-year-old Daniel Abbey of Ruskin; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted, and Transmission of Materials Harmful to Minors.
  • 43-year-old Dwight Meek of Palmetto; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 20-year-old Jameson Fahey of Englewood; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 33-year-old James Baker of Tampa; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted.
  • 20-year-old Edmond Jones of Bradenton; charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Act, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Lewd & Lascivious Battery – Attempted, Possession of less than 20 Grams of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Detectives seized two motorcycles during the operation. In addition, some of the information obtained during this initiative has resulted in additional investigations which are ongoing at this time.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office thanks the Orange County Sheriff's office, Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security and the Sarasota and Bradenton police departments for assistance.