MANATEE COUNTY - The Sheriff’s Office has concluded a week long undercover sting operation which resulted in the arrest of 43 subjects.
Operation Green Shepherd started on Monday, September 10 and ended on Monday, September 17.
Detectives went on line in various undercover capacities and subsequently set up meetings with the defendants at an undercover residence in Manatee County. The defendants went to the residence believing they were meeting up with a juvenile for a sexual encounter.
The defendants were arrested on charges including Travel to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child to Commit Sexual Act and Use of a Computer to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child to Commit Sexual Act. Some of the defendants were also charged with Transmission of Materials harmful to Minors by Electronic Device or Equipment, Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, Attempted Capital Sexual Battery and Possession of Drugs. One of the subjects, Eugene Marshal, is a registered Sexual Predator.
The investigation is ongoing with additional arrests and charges forthcoming. FDLE, ICE, the Bradenton Police Department, and the Sarasota, Polk, Lee and Lake County Sheriff’s Offices are assisting in the investigation. Video of the operation will be available on the Manatee Sheriff’s Office You Tube Site which can be found at www.manateesheriff.org.