FDLE Child pornography sting

By Jordan Rudin

The author of this article is not an attorney and nothing in this article should be considered legal advice.

ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the Attorney General Office’s Child Predator Cybercrime Unit announced on Thursday, December 15, 2011, that they had arrested 48 men from around the state, many of which resided in the Central Florida area as a result of their latest statewide investigation of potential online child predators and those who are manufacturing or distributing child pornography. The investigation was conducted over the past six months and over 100 potential suspects were looked at during its course. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement anticipates making additional arrests as they gather more evidence.

The men alleged to possess child pornography ranged in age and profession. The youngest suspect is only 15 years old and the oldest is 65. Their professions included a High School Student, a Teacher’s aide for special needs kids, a church employee, a Federal Agent with the Transportation Security Administration and a retired millionaire. Those arrested were charged with a multitude of crimes including possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, attempted lewd and lascivious assault, unlawful use of a two-way communications device, sexual battery, traveling to meet a minor and sexual performance by a child.

This was a multifaceted sting that utilized everything from chat room conversations, instant messenger programs, ads on Craigslist, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, internet dating sites and even text messaging.  Ten suspects live in the greater Orlando area, while others resided in Volusia and Osceola county.

With the recent developments in the courts and defense attorneys being able to prove entrapment, police misconduct and violations of their client’s constitutional rights it is curious that law enforcement has not changed their tactics as this will only result in further acquittals. The police are only relying on the hope that the alleged suspects will not retain a defense attorney and are hopeful that their suspects will take a plea bargain before they realize how it will affect the rest of their life.

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