What’s Going On in Sarasota? Another Sex Sting?

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There was some unusual law enforcement activity in Sarasota yesterday.

Police vehicles from Polk, Pinellas, Manatee , Clearwater, Northport, Bradenton and FDLE all converged on the Sarasota Police Department yesterday. Usually, this means that another Florida sex sting is in the works. Unfortunately, often men who have no intentions of ever hooking up with a minor get talked into chatting or texting with undercover police investigators. Let me remind you, the best way not to get arrested is to simply not commit a crime. In recent months the police have been running child pornography stings engaging men on the Internet hinting towards an exchange of kiddie porn on peer to peer file sharing programs. Never, no never, receive or transmit child pornography. It is a crime. Do not do it. If someone suggests it, terminate contact immediately. If someone sends you an unsolicited child pornography image you have a problem. If you truly did not intend to receive it, you may find yourself in a situation where you are in possession of something you never intended to possess. I have suspected for years that the police are sending some of the illegal images to entrap people into transmitting images back to them. The police then track the images back to an IP address, get a search warrant and then charge someone with a crime. It is a tough world out there and as much as I would like to believe police do not engage in illegal activity, I have my suspicions.
The latest child sex sting they are running is where a father or an uncle is pretending to have a son or nephew that needs “teaching”. The undercover stings target adult gay men, luring them with a promised encounter with a 13 or 14 year old boy. It is a crime to have sex with an under aged boy. Do not even think about doing it. I am a believer that the best way to lower the crime rate is to encourage people not to commit a crime. The police are getting desperate and when they cannot catch people committing a crime, they simply create one with one of their so called “Operations”. The police have moved away from Craigslist Casual Encounters and are now using a more subtle approach with other adult social media sites. They still troll the adult dating sites like Adam4Adam, Omegle, Backpage and others. Many lonely men fall for the bait and switch and get roped into doing something they would never think about doing. Do your part towards reducing the crime rate. Do not commit a crime. Do not get entrapped.
If you see a minor on the Internet suggesting sex, Flag the ad. Do your part to keep minors off the Internet. Education, not prosecution is the answer. Prevention, not prosecution is the solution. Let’s all do our part.

If you think you have stumbled into a sting or are under investigation for a sex crime in Sarasota or Bradenton call 941 366 3506 Let’s talk

CALL 941-366-3506

“CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US WITH A CONFIDENTIAL REQUEST”

More Sex Stings to come in Florida….Soon

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More Sex Stings to come in Florida….Soon

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri made it clear in his press conference this week that more of the Internet stings like Operation Guardian were be run in Pinellas County in 2014.  Although his agency has refused to comply with a public records request regarding his operation he continues to maintain the position that he is protecting the public and not entrapping otherwise innocent men. The official position per the Sheriff is that this is the “number one problem from a public safety perspective that we have in this County”.  I disagree with his statement.

I have been involved in many of the sex stings across central Florida and I have yet to see or hear of a single incident where a real child was on one of the adult dating sites like Craigslist, Meetme.com or Backpage.  The police claim kids are on these sites but in all the cases I have defended, never once have they presented any evidence that this is true.  It makes for good press but the truth is that kids are not on these sites.

The police are so desperate to make the cases that under cover cops are now posting profiles as an adult.  They are posting photographs of adults.  They are posting photographs of adults.  They are contacting adults that posted profiles as adults.  These are not men looking to have sex with kids.  It is true that every now and then the police find someone that has the predisposition to engage in sex with a minor and is willing to travel to engage in sex with a minor but those cases are few and far between.  The vast majority of the men arrested were talked into traveling to meet a minor after they were contacted by police on the adult sites.  Unfortunately, sex is the ultimate bait.  In most of the cases I have handled, the undercover “chatter” invites the unsuspecting men to come over.  The undercover “chatter” will bring up sex and say tempting things to induce, lure or seduce the man.  Who is doing the seducing?  That is the ultimate question.

We know more sex stings are coming in Pinellas and sex stings are overdue in both Sarasota and Ft. Myers.  The police make money running the stings.  They seize cars and forfeit them to the County.  Personally, I do not think it is the number one problem in any county.  The truth is that elder fraud is rampant on the West Coast of Florida.  Why don’t the police run stings that target people trying to defraud our older citizens?  How about Heroin?  With the crackdown on prescription medication, heroin addiction has exploded.  In my opinion, our precious police resources could be better spent.  The police are here to protect and serve, not create crime and then make arrests.  Let me hear your opinion.  If a loved one has been arrested, you need to know the truth about these stings.  Call 941 366 3506 or visit sarasotadefender.com