Online sex sting leads to 12 arrests in Sarasota County

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 2:54 pm

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.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

15 comments:

  • ontheotherhand posted at 8:49 pm on Sat, Jun 21, 2014.

    ontheotherhand Posts: 1

    So, if the general public had their facts straight they would know that the "men" that get caught in this sting are sometimes lured in. Say you have a guy who just turned 19 or 20 who just downloaded an app for an adult dating site. Then he gets contacted by a pretty girl and starts communicating. The girl is promiscuous, and things start moving pretty quickly via text message. Reeled him in. Then they plan to meet, and the girl discloses that she is 14 or 15. Now, "she" contacted him. The guy says, no thank you when he finds out her age. The "girl" continues to assure the guy who is like 5 years older than him that it is alright, she dates college guys. They find no child porn or evidence that the guy is interested in children. Yet there are thousands of creeps out there who possess, create and distribute child porn. These are the real pedophiles. How about we go after the people who are causing damage.

     
  • silly2 posted at 9:14 am on Thu, Jun 19, 2014.

    silly2 Posts: 7

    Who let the dogs out?

     
  • Christinejellybean posted at 7:23 pm on Mon, Jun 16, 2014.

    Christinejellybean Posts: 3

    imalwaysright, WHAT kinda logic is that? If a grown man goes as far as SAYING they want to have sexual contact with a child they belong DEAD! If it's a fantasy in the mind of a man, they belong DEAD. NORMAL guys don't look at 14 yr old children. And obviously something is VERY, VERY wrong with them in the head. And with a defect like that...they become worthless to society.

     
  • Christinejellybean posted at 7:20 pm on Mon, Jun 16, 2014.

    Christinejellybean Posts: 3

    Why are people sticking of for these men? What if one of the girls they were planning on meeting up with to impregnate or get high and take advantage of was ur daughter, cousin, sister or friend?

     
  • Christinejellybean posted at 7:18 pm on Mon, Jun 16, 2014.

    Christinejellybean Posts: 3

    I agree, dolphfan! I'm not a fan of law-enforcement as much as most these days. BUT, it's pretty hard to get yourself tangled into this kinda stuff unless ur doing bad things. What need would a male have to text a 14 year old girl? I'm picturing someone like my husband texting a young girl like this...it wouldn't make sense. UNLESS, he were up to no good...thankfully he's normal and not a sick freak. They should get all these guys together in one room and gas them.

     
  • Rick Trapman posted at 9:40 am on Wed, May 7, 2014.

    Rick Trapman Posts: 4

    Hello dolphfan39, Just hope that one of your children or family members does not get entrapped by LEOs conducting illegal stings. And do try to get informed before you spout out such comments. For your reading pleasure. Don't be so naïve and dumb and believe everything that you hear and read. That is was law enforcement what you to believe and be mad about but they will not release their info on how they are entrapping innocent men.  http://archive.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=354700 As I stated get informed and you will learn how to appropriately provide comments.

    Edited by staff.

     
  • dolphfan39 posted at 4:33 pm on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    dolphfan39 Posts: 2

    If you are an adult, and you are sexting a 12 or 14 year old child, you are guilty. Then you show up with condoms, you are guilty. I don't care how they caught these people, as long as they are off the streets. In fact, I think the death penalty should be broadened to incorporate child predators.

     
  • Rick Trapman posted at 3:31 pm on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    Rick Trapman Posts: 4

    jim m, I fully support stings that really go after predators but not these type of stings that set men up and entrapment. Big, big difference. There are DoJ Standards to preclude law enforcement from going across the line but Florida law enforcement is purposely going across the line to get the arrests which keeps the federal funding coming to Florida. Get yourself educated on the processes and procedures and the illegal tactics that they are using. They need to stop this "bait and switch" scenarios that entrap men to commit to talking about acts with a minor and traveling. Yes, many say No, No, but law enforcement continues to needle them, call them back again, and again, challenge their manhood, and what ever it takes to make them commit. Are they stupid for caving in, YES, but they are not predators. They were never on the adult websites looking for minors. Law enforcement is on there to make criminals of men that had no intent of soliciting a minor. More and more cases are being dismissed and law enforcement is not being held accountable and they know it. This will eventually lead to a DoJ investigation to stop Florida law enforcement from making their on rules as they did back in the period 2000-2008 which caused a Congressional directed DoJ and Committee investigation that ended up cutting all of the federal drug enforcement $$$$ and pure well killed this enormous program.

    Do some homework and find out the truth. You will be very surprised.

     
  • jim m posted at 11:36 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    jim m Posts: 3

    If you engage in under age solicitation and show up for a meeting, I'd say you are not an " innocent" victim but rather a predator.

     
  • jim m posted at 11:30 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    jim m Posts: 3

    You are clearly delusional and lack any knowledge of the law. Your last sentence says it all.

     
  • philemon posted at 3:29 pm on Thu, May 1, 2014.

    philemon Posts: 1

    Yet another improperly conducted sting that violates the standards of the ICAC done to fleece money from the federal government (money that should be going to help rescue children) and yet more cheap votes for politicians.

    People, how long will you let these corrupt police and politicians rule over you? Creating crimes, using bait and switch tactics and then parading them around as if the police were actually doing something besides wasting everyone's time and money?

     
  • imalwaysright posted at 1:10 pm on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

    imalwaysright Posts: 1

    I just want to say, just because you say you're going to do something, doesn't mean it is going to happen. How can you arrest some one on text messages alone. If they really wanted solid evidence on these people, they should have an under cover female cop, who may look younger than her age. Have the "criminals" over, and record if they say anything, or as soon as they try to touch her come out and then arrest them. How can you arrest someone for saying they were going to do something? These "cops" are wasting their time on this operation, they need to be going after the pedophiles who are on child pornography sites, and those who put the child pornography sites up in the first place.
    I also want to say that one of these young men that was arrested just moved to the wonderful Florida area, and was on a dating site just to make friends.

     
  • Rick Trapman posted at 9:56 am on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

    Rick Trapman Posts: 4

    All arrestees of a friend or family member need to immediately go to this site to see advice and guidance and info on the best defense attorney for their charges.

    Information on this website will help you a lot and the legal advice that is on there is critical to your PD or PDA to defend you.

    Once on this website, join the Florida Scandal Forum

    http://governingus.com/

     
  • Rick Trapman posted at 9:45 am on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

    Rick Trapman Posts: 4

    More advice:

    If you are a real predator, then you need to face your punishment and you have been caught and I applaud the ICAC Task Force for catching you. The Courts will clearly decide this. All others, go fight your cases.
    Public defenders and some private defense attorneys just don’t want to do all of this work and will recommend against this since they feel that you will get nowhere with it. Make them work to support you and if they don’t, dump them. Ask for another public defender and don’t pay your private defense attorney and request a refund. Get this wording added to your contract that you sign with the private defense attorney so he knows up front that you are paying him/her to work in your interest, and not that of the Prosecutor or Court. The least amount of time that he/she spends on your case affords them more time to take on other cases. Don’t pay your private defense attorney all the money upfront and don’t agree to a non-refundable amount. Add to the contract how you desire to pay him in Month, Quarterly installments as the case progresses and then the final payment at the end if your case goes to trial. You will see that many will agree to this payment schedule and then you have control of your defense destiny. If the PDA does not want to work with you on this, then keep looking and searching for one that will using the free consultations that most of them offer.
    It is just sad to keep hearing that attorneys (public or private) won’t do the Motions or have recommended against them, see no value in doing this or that Motion, etc. etc. etc. It is your life, and not theirs. They know that this is additional painstaking, tedious and detailed work and the least that they have to do the better for them as well. Remember, they also have heavy case loads but that is their problem.
    This is why many, many, many of them seek to try to convince you that you need to take the Plea bargain, which they feel they have worked well for you and is in your best interest. Don’t get me wrong. There are many, many, many excellent public defenders or private defense attorneys out there that really care and will bust their butts to work your cases but after reading a lot of the comments from prior defendants, I believe that there are more out there that are just coming to work and don’t want to invest the additional time that you need in your defense.
    As these Motions are submitted, the Court is either going to wake up or give in. Remember, both the Prosecutor and the Court as well have to write their responses and that is additional work for both and it starts developing a record of history of how they work, view and decide on these type of cases. They will make case law mistakes that will work to your benefit during the Appeal Process.
    One day when all of this blows up in their faces, the evidence of their impartiality will be documented and that can then be presented to interest groups, the media, etc. etc. They can never claim that they did not know what was happening and that they were part of the problem which they allowed to continue.
    My recommendation is to force the system to work for you. If you really feel that you were ENTRAPPED by the Undercover Agents assigned to this Task Force, then don't throw in the towel but rather, defend yourself and use the legal system to the fullest extent. Force our attorneys to write, file, and argue your Motions and make the Prosecutor and Judges have to research and provide justifiable response and decisions.
    Take your case all the way to jury selection and even trial if the Plea that you are willing to live with is not offered.
    By submitting all of these Motions and having them denied by the Court, you have the right to then Appeal to a higher court. The Appellate Judges are as well going to wake up when they start seeing so many appeals and they will as well evidentially get sick and tired of this.
    Force the legal system to work for you, not against you.

     
  • Rick Trapman posted at 9:44 am on Wed, Apr 30, 2014.

    Rick Trapman Posts: 4

    Some advice for those arrested in Dept of Justice, Internet Crimes Against Children Program, approved Internet Stings that are still going thru the Court process:
    Here is a recommendation for you individuals that truly feel that the Task Force members conducted an illegal Dept of Justice approved program internet sting that ENTRAPPED you.
    You need to run your case all the way to jury selection and even trial and force your public defenders or private defense attorneys to submit every possible Motion (Suppress, Double Jeopardy, Dismiss, Dismiss L and L, Compel (all evidence, Internet Crimes Against Children Investigative and Operational Standards employed in the operation, Sting Operational Plan, copies of the operational briefing, copy of the States Memo of Understanding with Dept of Justice Program Manager), etc, etc.) to the Court and make the Prosecutor work his tail off until he is so fed up with this that he works with his Boss to offer a good Plea, dismiss or drop charges.
    Please, please, don't take the first Plea offerings. This is what they all want you to do. Many of you have been ENTRAPPED via illegal internet website postings where the Undercover Agents have posted in adult websites and during the conversations, did a "bait and switch" scenario. These ads have been ruled in many States as law enforcement soliciting, luring and enticing innocent law-abiding men who were seeking an No Strings Attached encounter with another adult and had no intention of a contact with a minor.
    Ask yourself, "Who is doing the soliciting, Who is doing the luring and enticement, Who is sending a picture of a minor to whom, Who is lying and posing as an adult, Who is asking you to bring protection, Who is asking you to travel, Who is ignoring your initial "No" or "This is illegal to do this with a minor" comments and still coercing you to commit, Who is asking you what you would like to do to the minor, Who is making you commit and be descriptive about what you want to do with the minor, Who is asking you for the type of vehicle you are driving, when you are traveling and arriving, Who is calling or texting you back, again, and again, and again, after you do not initially agree to meet them, i.e. the minor or parent of a minor, Who is leading the conversation and bringing up this activity with a minor, etc. etc. etc. These are all things that these Undercover Agents are doing which all fall into entrapment - soliciting, luring, enticing, etc. etc. Remember, when you went online to look for an encounter, you did not do this in search of a minor. The Undercover Agent set you up and had the total mission to do the above to stack the numbers and help prove to the Public that they are trapping real Predators and that is the story the Sheriffs are giving the media and public. They are not releasing the rest of the story of their conduct and the illegal actions that they have undertaken to ENTRAP these innocent men.

     

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.