ORLANDO, FL, January 17, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- After a collective effort of 16 law-enforcement agencies, Seminole County authorities began releasing details about their week-long investigation that was named "Operation Cardea" and targeted individuals attempting to engage in activities that illegally involved minors. Cardea is the Roman Goddess of the hinge, eventually over history being identified as a protector of the home. The sting was conducted at a home located in Seminole County.
Detectives posing as teens between the ages of 11 and 15 landed 50 men ages 19 to 50 in jail. Though many of the suspects resided in central Florida, some men that were arrested came from other parts of the country, like North Carolina, and even the world. One of the individuals arrested during the operation was a tourist from Turkey. Seminole County Sgt. Charles Albecht, the organizer of the sting operation, was confident that an operation such as the one just conducted could easy round up the same number of probable child predators if done again.
They also took the time to discuss that parents need to be thoroughly aware of the dangers of the Internet as far as using forums, perverse websites, and chat programs. The FBI offers a comprehensive guide to internet safety on their website.
Operation Cardea was a well-planned effort for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. 200 investigators were utilized for the operation. Their cooperation and communication with agencies such as the FBI and FDLE proved to be beneficial in executing aspects of the operation and successfully making the arrests. During the week of the arrest, two school teachers and two other school employees were arrested. This facet of sex sting operations typically hits the local community and student body hard.
Gary Schwartz, an attorney at The Umansky Law Firm, has spoken numerous times about these types of operations. The following was taken from a radio show he spoke on regarding internet sex crimes September 30th, 2012 and how investigators conduct their operations:
"...one of the ways that they [investigators] most often do this is to put an ad on a website like Craigslist, or Backpage, and the ad won't even mention sex with the minor. It is law enforcement personnel posing as a single mother, and the individual surfing the web with no intention to have any sex with the single mom's kid, who again doesn't exist. But the officer will push, and keep bringing a kid up, and often what happens is that the defendant in the case will give in and say "all right" because they feel like they have to say anything to have sexual relations with the adult, but they never have any realistic intention to meet a child at all."
Even with the level of perceived sophistication for this particular operation, most sex sting operations are handled in a similar manner. Investigators will typically pose online as teens and communicate with the suspects in an enticing manner, though typically stating they are underage. In some cases, they will assume an identity as a parent that wants an adult to engage in inappropriate activities with their children. Some of the suspects in Operation Cardea distributed pictures of themselves in a sexual manner to these investigators.
Sex crime offenses that involve children are among the most serious crimes an individual can commit in the United States. Being labeled a sex offender stays with you for a lifetime in most cases, and this often results in not being able to live where you want, facing a curfew, and periodically reporting to appropriate authorities indefinitely.
Defenses for this type of crime are viable but take a truly experienced and willing attorney to execute them. Defenses commonly include arguing forms of entrapment, but also the suspect's lack of intent to commit the crime, their psychological state, and some other possible routes that involve careful yet extremely detailed evidence that can support the case.
Seminole County is the latest county in Central Florida to implement an undercover sting to uncover suspected internet predators. The Sheriff just released details with respect to this sting, announcing the arrest of fifty individuals who allegedly travelled to a house to meet up with what they believed to be a child for a sexual encounter. These cases are extremely serious as each of those arrested faces the spectre of having to spend a significant amount of prison time, as well as a lifetime designation as a sex offender. Details with regards to the sting are still forthcoming, it will be interesting to hear the tactics utilized by law enforcement to entice these individuals to travel to the undercover location. The charges that most of those arrested are facing include travelling to meet, transmission of material harmful to minors, attempted sexual battery and use of a computer to solicit a minor for sex.About The Umansky Law Firm
The Umansky Law Firm is a criminal defense firm serving individuals in the Orlando, Florida area. Their lawyers are committed to delivering high levels of personalized attention to all clients in order to help them achieve the best possible outcome to their case. As former prosecutors and police department legal advisers, their lawyers possess a unique skill set that gives clients a much needed edge in their criminal defense representation.
For more information, please visit the firm's website at http://www.thelawman.net
or call (407) 228-3838.---
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