Seminole County Sheriff’s Office arrests 50 men in connection with an undercover sting to catch predators involved in sex crimes against children. This week long sting was led by the Seminole County Sheriffs Office. Several agencies including FDLE and the FBI played a roll in the sting.
“Operation Cardea” which is named after the Roman goddess Cardea, protector of homes was designed to catch sexual predators. Investigators posing as kids and even parents of kids would communicate back and forth with the potential suspects online. Some of the men sent sexual photos. The trap was set at a bait house in Oviedo. When the men showed up at the house, they were taken down to the ground by law enforcement.
Those arrested will likely be charged with the crime of Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sex, Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, or Soliciting. These crimes carry hefty punishments and usually require mandatory prison time. Even there is no actual victim and the suspect may have absolutely no prior criminal history, they could go to jail for a very long time.
Similar stings have been carried out in the past. A small number of cases have been thrown out where it was found to be entrapment. When an entrapment defense is used, the Defendant has the burden to prove he actually was entrapped. One element he must show is that he was not predisposed to that behavior. There may be other defenses available to this type of crime depending on the circumstances of each case.
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