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Man arrested on solicitation of child for sex charge, deputies say

Deputies: Gary Fernandez attempted to meet person who he believed was girl

Booking photo of Gary Fernandez (image courtesy of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office) (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Wednesday when he attempted to meet a person who he believed was a girl for sex, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said Gary Fernandez, 66, of Middleburg, was charged with solicitation of a child for sex, solicitation of a parent or guardian, travel to meet a minor for sex and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

A Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children detective began conversing late last month with a man, later identified as Fernandez, on an ecommerce site, deputies said. Fernandez solicited a meeting after two weeks of communication between him and the undercover detective.

Deputies said Fernandez arrived at an undisclosed location in St. Johns County around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and was taken into custody without incident.

Fernandez was booked into the St. Johns County Jail with no bond, pending a first appearance hearing Thursday morning, deputies said. Detectives are continuing their investigation.