Polk Sheriff To Hold Press Conference Regarding Sexual Predator Sting | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Sheriff Grady Judd and leaders from partnering law enforcement agencies will provide details tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 9:30 a.m., about a multi-law enforcement agency eight-day-long undercover investigation which focused on sexual predators who target children, solicit children online, and travel to an undercover location to sexually batter children.

During the initiative, detectives posed as children and adults who have access to children on social media platforms, mobile apps, and online dating sites to investigate those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity.

PCSO worked with the Auburndale Police Department, Davenport Police Department, Lakeland Police Department, Lake Wales Police Department, and Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects communicated with and solicited who they thought were children or adults who had access to children online. Five suspects showed up to an undercover location in Polk County at separate times 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. 

Detectives obtained arrest warrants for three other suspects who committed crimes against who they thought were children online; two of those suspects are in custody, and one is still at large.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Response Team also conducted an initiative during the month of February 2024, aimed at ensuring compliance with Florida’s registration laws for convicted sex offenders and sex predators within Polk County. Detectives charged 16 suspects with failure to comply with registration laws and/or violation of probation. Details will be provided about those arrests and charges as well.

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