DELAND, Fla. – Men from Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Palm Coast were among 43 arrested in a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office sex predator operation.
Deputies said they teamed with other agencies for a six-day bust during Bike Week dubbed Operation PredaTour 2015. The sting wrapped up late Saturday night and targeted child predators, prostitution and distribution of child pornography.
Volusia County deputies went online posing as girls 14 years old and younger. They chatted with men who allegedly wanted to take advantage of them, and then arranged meet-ups at a decoy home in Ormond Beach.
In video from some of the arrests, the men don't appear to think anything is suspicious. They walk up to the door thinking they're going to meet a girl, only to be greeted by a number of law enforcement officers.
Within seconds of knocking on the door, deputies grabbed the men, took them to the ground and put them in handcuffs.
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In the videos, all the men seemed to cooperate and some were immediately apologetic.
The men arrested came from all over. One was from Jacksonville, one from St. Augustine and two more from Palm Coast. Some came from as far as Wisconsin and Washington.
Some brought condoms and Viagra. One brought chicken McNuggets. Investigators said Sameul Fanfan of Palm Coast came with marijuana.
The sheriff said he wants to teach a lesson to other people who might try to prey on children. He said they should think twice before they try to chat with children, because in reality they could be conversing with cops.
"You could have several detectives talking to as many as 200 sexual predators either online or on the phone. And maybe a third of them will take the bait, and then a few of them will actually travel to make contact with the juvenile," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said.
Smith said stings like PredaTour 2015 are about sending a message to potential predators.
"It's important to have this, the stories told on the air, to try to deter that," Smith said. "Maybe people will see this and decide, 'Well, maybe I shouldn't do this and won't try to make contact with them.'"
Among the arrests were 22 men who were nabbed after making arrangements to have sex with someone they thought was a child.
The men were charged with traveling to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child, use of a computer to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.
Those arrested were:
- Patrick Antoine, 21, Daytona Beach
- Alan Behnke, 51, Ormond Beach
- Vincent Cafarella, 26, Palm Coast
- Samuel Fanfan, 27, Palm Coast
- Andrew Gangale, 46, Delray Beach
- Carsten Haaland, 21, Port Orange
- Derick Hendrix, 24, Port Orange
- Steven Mandzuk, 24, Daytona Beach
- Michael Maurer, 24, Daytona Beach
- Levi McEntire, 25, Waldron, Arkansas
- Kevonta McMillian, 21, Daytona Beach
- Brooks Mitchell, 53, St. Augustine
- Skylar Nedbalek, 25, Daytona Beach
- Dustin Notz, 20, Edgewater
- Aaron Pohler, 23, Huntington, Indiana
- Kyle Reaves, 27, Astor
- Chester Ringwald IV, 25, Ormond Beach
- Glen Ross, 49, Jacksonville
- Richard Sanger, 59, New Smyrna Beach
- Michael Smith, 24, Theresa, Wisconson
- Benjamin Williams, 39, Lacey, Washington
Meanwhile, 18 others were arrested in the prostitution portion.
Those arrested and the charges against them are:
- Francis Bunting, 41, Durham, North Carolina, human trafficking
- Danielle Edwards, 27, Port Orange, solicitation to commit prostitution
- Kim Geiselman, 62, South Attleboro, Massachusetts, human trafficking, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia
- Jessica Greenfield, 27, Daytona Beach, offer or agree to secure another for a lewd act
- Damien Hill, 35, Daytona Beach, human trafficking, possession of cocaine
- Alicia Holmstrand, 27, Daytona Beach, solicitation to commit prostitution
- Simmons Melvina, 26, Daytona Beach, aiding, abetting or committing prostitution
- Ashley Morris, 23, Rantoul, Illinois, aiding, abetting or committing prostitution
- Santana Murphy, 19, Daytona Beach, human trafficking
- Lashera Powell, 28, Daytona Beach, solicitation to commit prostitution
- Scott Racki, 38, Ormond Beach, unlawful possession of cocaine, unlawful possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia
- Elizabeth Schaffer, 24, Daytona Beach, solicitation to commit prostitution
- Bobbie Strausbaugh, 33, Daytona Beach, aiding, abetting or committing prostitution
- Celena Welborn, 37, Daytona Beach, battery
- Tequila Williams, 20, Daytona Beach, aiding, abetting or committing prostitution
- Sebastian Xicalhua, 37, Daytona Beach, aiding, abetting or committing prostitution
In addition, two men were arrested on child pornography charges:
- Christopher Evans, 27, DeLand
- Raymond Smith, 47, South Daytona
Many of the men have already bonded out of jail. They’ll face the charges later in court. Deputies said at least one has already sent them an apology letter, saying he’s sorry for what he did.