Police Arrest 22 Men Who Attempted to Meet Minors for Sex

The Pensacola Police Department held a press conference Wednesday to talk about what they're calling 'Operation Undertow.'

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Twenty-two men were arrested in Pensacola in a five-day period last week, all now facing charges of attempting to have sex with a teenager.  Not all of the men arrested were living in Pensacola.  Some of the men traveled from other states to meet up with the minors.

The Pensacola Police Department held a press conference Wednesday to talk about what they’re calling ‘Operation Undertow.’

Video from the sting operation shows suspect after suspect walking up to an undisclosed location.  Suspects would knock on the door, thinking a minor is inside waiting to have sex.  When the door swings open, police were waiting on the other side.

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22 people were arrested between September 7th and September 11th after chatting online with investigators who were posing as minors or adults who were looking for someone to have sex with their child.

“Warrants were issued for all suspects after they had contacted undercover agents via computer about arranging to have sex with a teenage male or female,” said Pensacola Police Chief David Alexander III.

The conversations started after the suspects responded to ads on an eCommerce site, such as Craigslist. State Attorney Bill Eddins detailed the delicate process.pred2

“Throughout the years, our assistant state attorneys have studied the law carefully, as have law enforcement agencies,” said Eddins.  “We’ve been very careful to follow the law to make sure that the defendant reaches out to us and that we do not entrap them.”

 

The conversations are too graphic to report, but in every one, the investigators make it clear an underage person is involved.  The suspect still arrives, looking for sex.

Police want to encourage parents to know who their children are communicating with on all social media platforms.

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