Clearwater Sheriff at it Again in Sex Stings
Here we go again with yet another sex sting called Operation Cyber Justice October 1, 2014. This Sex Sting involving about thirty officers and costing $80,000 netted only ten arrests. The same thing happened in the latest North Port sting. The police claim that the dismal results are because they are driving the sex predators off of the Internet. The simple fact is that the entrapment techniques used in the past are simply not working any more. From day one, the Internet stings have for the most part caught men who had no intention or previous disposition to search for or engage in sex with a minor. The police in the latest stings have changed their approach and targeted sites like Badoo.com and Meetme.com. They post a profile as an adult and then rely on the program to contact other adults. When a match is made by Badoo.com indicating another consenting adult is nearby¸ contact is made. It is then they do the basic bait and switch with a comment like “Gosh, I am sorry, I am only 15”. They then try and engage the suspect chat with enticing seduction innuendo. Some gullible men fall for this ploy. The net result is men get talked into traveling to meet a minor or sexting and sending inappropriate pics to the minor. The best way to avoid getting arrested is to not try to hook up on the Internet. If anyone even hints they are underage, terminate all contact and flag or report it to the Internet dating service. Never chat with a minor
There is a hearing coming up on the 31st of October regarding the last sting run in Pinellas County. In that sting the police used a military OSI investigator by the name of William Glidewell as the chatter. It is a violation of Federal law to use the military in purely State investigations. The interesting issue is whether or not the police officers who approved his participation also committed a felony. I have now represented men in approximately twenty sting across Florida and find the police conduct shocking. The public really needs to understand what the I chatters and co-operating law enforcement agencies are doing. When they spend $80,000, there is great pressure to make an arrest to justify the cost and the police really push the envelope to entrap men. I am involved in one case where the man refused to fall for the trick and even blocked the undercover chatter. Even though he did not travel, they arrested him anyway for simply talking dirty. We now have “thought police” hell bent on making arrests where crimes are not even committed. Eventually, the public will realize what is happening. In the meantime I encourage me to stay off the dating sites entirely. If you are on an Internet dating site, chances are, you are talking with a cop.
If you have questions you can visit my other blog at sexstinglawyer.com or call 941 366 3506