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Austin Maddox Arrested in Anti-Child Predator Sting | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

A former Boston Red Sox pitcher was arrested during an undercover child predator sting last month after allegedly trying to “sexually exploit children.”

Austin Dean Maddox, 33, was taken into custody on April 28 by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after engaging in online conversation with whom he thought was an underage girl, but was actually undercover agents.

On Monday, May 20, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared footage of their operation on their Facebook account, which included the former athlete resisting arrest “until our K-9 got involved.”

Maddox was arrested on four felony charges — traveling to meet after using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child; soliciting a child by computer; unlawful use of a communication device; and producing or promoting a performance that includes sexual performance by a child, per NBC 10 Boston, citing inmate records. 

“27 men thought they were chatting online with underage girls. Instead, they were talking to our detectives,” the sheriff’s office began as the caption to their Facebook post. 

The video lasted just over three minutes and showed several alleged predators being arrested. 

Austin Maddox.

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty

One man who believed he was meeting up with a child “showed up with a handgun and illegal drugs identified as MDMA.” Another suspect was pulled over on the side of the road, still wearing hospital scrubs from his work shift when he was arrested for allegedly traveling to meet an 8-year-old.

During a press conference, Sheriff T.K. Waters said Maddox intended to have sex with a 14-year-old.

“JSO and our partners put the highest priority on the safety and security of our children as the internet provides new and frightening opportunities for predators to victimize our children,” Waters said.

“Our investigators, along with those of our partner agencies will continue to proactively identify and apprehend child Predators before they have the opportunity to act upon their perversions.” 

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the 27 men were apprehended in less than a week.

The department, “along with our local, state, and federal partners with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, arrested the suspects during the 5-day Operation Valiant Knights. These men face a long list of felonies including solicitation of a child and human trafficking.”

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It is not immediately known if Maddox had an attorney, per NBC. The former baseball player was being held on about $300,000 bail. His next court date is on May 28.

Maddox attended the University of Florida before being picked in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

His career stats include 13 regular season games with the Red Sox in the 2017 season before his 2020 retirement.

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