Florida deputies arrest 23 people in online predator sting

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — Florida deputies have announced the arrests of 23 suspects in a sting targeting online predators.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the nearly two dozen suspects range in age from 21 to 77 years old and all traveled with the intent of having sex with a child.

The arrests come as a part of Operation Intercept VII, a four-day initiative focused on protecting children in the county from online predators and human trafficking.

“I wish I could say these operations were no longer needed but time and time again, even after we make dozens of arrests, these men keep coming back for more,” commented Sheriff Knight. “In this digital world we live in, innocent children are far too accessible to predators. That is why, as parents, we have to get serious about prevention. Parents are the first line of defense, and we will never stop reminding our community of that.”

Officials said the men used several mobile apps and social media platforms to contact the children. Deputies said parents should be cautious of these apps and monitor their children’s online activity.

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