Polk Sheriff Grady Judd announces ‘Operation Child Protector’ charging eight suspects | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his office has engaged in a successful sex crime investigation operation, resulting in the arrest of eight suspects for online sex crimes against children.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office conducted “Operation Child Predator V” from Feb. 22-29.

Of the suspects, five allegedly communicated with and solicited people they thought were children, or were adults but had access to children, online.

  • Five showed up to an “undercover location,” Judd’s office said – to “sexually batter children.”
  • “Those five wanted to pay an adult hundreds of dollars to have sex with who they thought was a child – they were charged with human trafficking, a life felony,” the sheriff’s office said.
  • Two other suspects were arrested on warrants for allegedly committing crimes against people they believed were children. The other one is still at large.
  • The operation resulted in 27 felony charges against eight suspects.

“We conduct proactive operations like this to help keep our children safe,” Judd said. “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.”

“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,” he said. “Check their devices regularly, and ensure parental controls are enabled to keep predators like these away from your kids.”

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office listed more specific details about each of the eight suspects here.

On top of charging the eight, the sheriff also cracked down on convicted sex offenders and predators purportedly not obeying the state’s sex offender registration laws.

Per the sheriff, 16 suspects were charged for not complying with registration laws or violating probation. The county has a total of 1,265 sexual offenders and 153 sexual predators, and law enforcement checks each one every quarter for compliance.

“Our detectives work hard year-round to keep track of convicted sexual offenders and predators who reside in Polk County to ensure they remain compliant with the law,” Judd said. “It is our mission to keep our community – especially the children within our community – safe.”

“That is why we conduct initiatives like this one,” he said. “These 16 suspects learned the hard way that we take every one of the requirements seriously, and failure to comply will result in an arrest.”

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