Lake County Sheriff Office Arrested Five Men In Child Predator Sting!
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office held five men for “various s*x-related crimes” after an operation to catch people trying to meet kids for s*x.
Part of the effort of Nightcrawler, a four-day effort to catch people meeting kids for s*x, was all of this. Based on what Lt. John Herrell says, all five of the guys went to those places expecting to meet a child.
“They were taken down upon arrival right then and there,” he said.
Herrell says that officers from their cyber crimes unit start talking to people online as part of the operation. He says it’s amazing how quickly the talks go from being fun to being serious.
“How quickly they turn s*xual in nature with these people thinking they’re talking to a child,” Herrell said. “But it doesn’t deter them, and, quite frankly, in their minds, the possible reward is well worth the risk of being caught.”
It took between 30 and 35 people to pull this off. Lake County asked FDLE and police departments in Eustis, Tavares, Mount Dora, and other places for help—all of the groups that work together to stop Internet crimes against kids.
“Just a lot that goes into it,” Herrell said. “You gotta figure the case agents who review all the chat communications and put all this together. They verify that there’s probable cause.”
“When it gets time to make the arrest, we have surveillance teams; we have off-site arrest teams who are responsible for actually taking these guys into custody; we have evidence collectors who are there to collect any evidence that these guys bring with them.”
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Herrell says that they hope that carrying out actions like this one will make people less likely to become predators.
“We want people to think twice before they come to Lake County to meet a child for s*x,” he said.
The sheriff’s office wouldn’t say how often they work on operations like this one, but they did say they do them all the time and will keep doing them.