Just as I predicted days ago, the Lee County Sheriff’s office and the Cape Coral Police finally confirmed that another Internet sex sting operation was running.
The latest and most successful sex sting this year resulted in 21 arrests. What makes this sting a little unusual is the ages of the men arrested. Usually the police only trap (or entrap) young gullible men. This time the operation resulted in the arrest of men much older. Two of the men were in their seventies, one in his sixties, four in their forties and three in their thirties. It will be interesting to see which Internet applications were being targeted. Also it will be interesting to see if law enforcement targeted the LGBT community.
Most of the men are still in the Lee County jail on pretty high bonds.
As a sex sting lawyer, I track the sex stings around the country looking for trends in law enforcement. In the summer, it is a good way for the police to boost arrest statistics. I still feel our law enforcement manpower would be better spent luring and enticing potential terrorists rather that adult men looking to hook up with other adults. I am willing to bet that when the probable cause arrest reports become available the public will see that almost every one of the men arrested was on an adult site looking for another adult, not a child. Typically the police use a bait and switch tactic luring men who had no intention of hooking up with a minor. Time will tell. Over the last few years, I have represented men in over thirty different cases all around Florida. The police basically ignore the ICAC guidelines and do their own thing when it comes to entrapment.
If you can afford your own lawyer, hire a good one. Some people jokingly refer to the Public Defender as the Public Pretender. This is not fair. There are some really good experienced lawyers in the Public Defender’s office that do a fantastic job. There are also some who have little real experience and new on the job. It is a lot like going to the public health clinic. You can’t pick the one you want. When it comes to private lawyers, there is one that advertises,big time, but seldom sees the courtroom. Make sure the lawyer your hire is the one who will try your case. Get that in writing.
Imagine how that same manpower could be better spent. We live in dangerous times where in my opinion, our precious law enforcement resources could be devoted to much more serious situations.
The average “sex sting” involves dozens of officers and usually consumes most of a week.
In the cases I have handled as a criminal sex crime lawyer the cost sheets provided by the State claim law enforcement costs somewhere around $80,000. I That would go a long way when it comes to gathering intelligence on terrorists, mentally dangerous individuals and potential “shooters”. I personally think crime prevention is more important than crime creation with these police entrapment stings.
The Orlando shooting at the “Pulse” was horrific.
All around this Country more and more “shootings” are happening. Imagine how much more productive it would be for the police to spend their “Internet” time tracking and or communicating with real criminals like potential terrorists. The various police departments here in Florida have spent thousands of man hours creating statistics with arrests for traveling to meet a minor and Internet solicitation of a minor. Instead of baiting otherwise consenting adults simply looking to hookup, the police could be baiting potential terrorists looking to kill innocent civilians. I would be willing to bet that Grady Judd has no one in his agency trolling the Internet for terrorists. After all, terrorists shoot back.
Is this how you want your tax dollars spent?
The answer is not to ban Muslims from our Country. That is ridiculous! Most of the shootings in America have been by our own citizens, most of the time white males under thirty. How about focusing our resources on identifying the real threats to our safety? How about tracking people who have a violent history based on mental illness? How about funding treatment for the mentally ill?
Grady Judd is at it again wasting precious law enforcement resources chasing men and women seeking consensual sex for money. The world’s oldest profession is targeted in Polk. It makes great press for Grady. I wonder how many burglaries were committed while the police were arresting and processing 128 people mostly for attempting to have consensual sex.
How many cars were stolen? How many old folks were defrauded?
How many checks were stolen from mailboxes? How many domestic batteries were committed?
As a criminal defense lawyer, but more importantly as a taxpayer, it offends me to see manpower wasted on basically creating misdemeanor prosecutions for something like prostitution.
Prostitution should be legal.
In most civilized advanced countries it is. Out of 128 arrests, only one was for questionable “human trafficking”. Most of the women involved and all of the men offering money for sex were seeking a simple business transaction. An hour or so of “companionship” for a handful of money is all that was sought. That has been going on for all of time and as long as there are women and men, it will continue.
The Internet has taken women off the streets and mostly eliminated pimps. The oldest profession has become a lot more civilized and in my opinion it is a total waste of time for cops to burn up valuable man hours simply to create publicity for the Sheriff. If anything, legalized prostitution would decrease rape and child molestation. The real way to reduce crime is to make fewer things a crime.
There were four men arrested for traveling to meet a minor. Those are serious felony charges. It will be interesting to see if they were really looking for minors or whether or not the detectives were doing the basic bait and switch suggesting or offering a minor.
Time will tell.