‘Operation Child Protector’ leads to arrests for human trafficking, sheriff says – WFTV | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released new information Tuesday about an undercover investigation into sexual predators who target children.

Detectives said they charged eight suspects with online sex crimes against children and 16 registered sexual offenders and predators with failure to comply with registration laws.

Read: Polk County human-trafficking bust nets 228 arrests

The arrested were part of an 8-day-long undercover investigation named “Operation Child Predator V,” deputies said.

This was a joint operation between the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Auburndale Police Department, Davenport Police Department, Lakeland Police Department, Lake Wales Police Department, and Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.

“We conduct proactive operations like this to help keep our children safe. I’m so thankful for our detectives and partnering agencies for their hard work to keep our children safe from predators who sexually abuse, groom, and corrupt our children,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “Parents need to be ‘all up in their child’s business’ when it comes to electronic devices that give them access to online gaming, mobile applications, texting, or the internet. Check their devices regularly, and ensure parental controls are enabled to keep predators like these away from your kids.”

Deputies said the suspects communicated with and solicited who they thought were children or adults who had access to children online.

Watch: Survey shows the state of human trafficking safehouses in Florida

Five suspects showed up to an undercover location in Polk County at separate times to sexually batter children, according to a report.

Deputies said five of the suspects wanted to pay an adult hundreds of dollars to have sex with who they thought was a child, and they were charged with human trafficking, a life felony.

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