SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office conducted Operation Intercept VI aimed at protecting children from online predators and human trafficking.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested 25 people during the sting with ages ranging from 19-65 who traveled with the intent of having sex with a male or female child.
The suspects responded to online ads, apps and social media sites and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations.
The Sheriff’s Office said one man attempted to lure the child into his vehicle while several sent explicit photos and brought condoms with them.
Two of the men arrested were from Punta Gorda and Lehigh Acres.
Constantin Fota, 27 of Lehigh Acres is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Traveling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
Joshua Rector, 24 of Punta Gorda is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Traveling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
The men arrested during this operation managed to blend into society and attempted to prey on children by developing a trust through promises to exploit them for sexual purposes. So long as men like these prey upon our community, I will ensure our ongoing commitment to putting them behind bars.