Sarasota County deputies arrest 30 in online sex sting - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota County deputies arrest 30 in online sex sting

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Investigators in Sarasota county busted 30 men who they say used the internet to set up sexual encounters with children.

In Operation Intercept II, the person on the other computer wasn't a minor it was a deputy.

These 30 suspects face felony charges for traveling to meet minors for sex.

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said one man traveled nearly 200 miles to meet what he thought was a minor, instead all 30 of these men were shocked to find deputies and it was all caught on video.

But a warning, some of the details you're going to read are disturbing.

It wasn't exactly the warm welcome these guys were expecting.

In a video provided by the Sarasota County Sheriff's office, you can see men ring a doorbell only to discover deputies behind the door.

In a weeklong sting, 30 men were arrested in Sarasota County for allegedly trying to have sex with minors.

One man is heard on the video saying, "I didn't do anything wrong. I just want to go home. I don't even know why I'm in here."

Sheriff Knight said these suspects responded to internet ads and social media posts.

Eventually it progressed into explicit phone conversations, vulgar photos, and then an attempt to have sex.

"In many cases, not only were they thinking that they were communicating with children or a child, they thought in some cases that they were communicating with the guardian of the children," said Knight. "One of them brought no less than 50 condoms with him. Another thought that he was coming to have sex with a 14 year old foster child who he thought he was hiring as a prostitute."

Knight said some men came frighteningly prepared.

He said, "One of the more frightening things was a sex kit more for torture than for toys. So these things that would harm physically a child if they were to have sex with a child, which is very disturbing."

The sheriff says none of the 30 men arrested were registered sex offenders.

He said, "These people knew exactly what they were doing. They take a lot of precautions to come and see these children, so they're committed to seeing a kid, we're committed to arresting them.

Knight said this certainly serves as a warning to parents- they need to know what their children are doing online.

The sheriff said these suspects have felony charges and could face punishments of anywhere from 3 to 20 years in prison.

And there are more online sex stings to come.

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