JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Eleven men accused of using computers or cellphones to lure children and meet them for sex were arrested in an undercover sting, the Volusia County sheriff announced this week.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said “Operation Deviant Desire” went after people who use the internet to prey on children for sex.
The operation resulted in the arrests of a Jacksonville man and 10 others, ranging in age from 19 to 55, on various felony charges, including using a computer to lure a child, traveling to seduce/solicit/lure/entice a child, attempted lewd and lascivious battery, and using a two-way communications device to commit a felony.
"It makes you want to throw up to listen to what these guys are requesting a 14-year-old perform on them and what they want to perform on a 14-year-old," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a news conference Tuesday.
The sheriff said that during the five-day operation, undercover detectives posing as teenagers chatted with the suspects before each man traveled to meet the child at public locations in Volusia County, which neighbors Flagler County to the south. The Sheriff's Office posted a compilation of videos showing the dramatic arrests, which show suspects surrounded by law enforcement officers at places that included a convenience store and gas stations.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Kumar Speicher (pictured), 41, of Jacksonville, was among the men arrested. The Sheriff's Office said he was in possession of condoms, loose pills, a sex toy, male stamina pills and a bottle containing an unknown liquid at the time of his arrest.
"You home with your parents?" was an excerpt from Speicher's conversation with an undercover detective, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Speicher was booked Sunday into the Volusia County jail, online jail records show.
The Sheriff's Office said the other men arrested were:
- Pengzhou He, 25, of Sanford
- Carlos Charles-Martinez, 55, of Daytona Beach
- Laneil Wilkins, 29, who has a listed address of Henrico, Virginia
- Mauricio Luna, 26, of Deltona
- David Shook, 33, of Altamonte Springs
- Kareem Farrelly, 33, of Deltona
- Michail Hackett, 20, of Sanford
- Gregory Webley, 37, of Fort Pierce
- Nirajkumar Kapadia, 24, of Winter Park
- Samuel Reyes, 19, of Eustis
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said if the men are convicted, they will have to register as sex offenders. Florida currently has more than 69,000 registered sex offenders.
The agencies that took part in the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force operation included the Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Brevard, Putnam and Clay sheriff’s offices; Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Gainesville and Orange Park police departments; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida; Homeland Security Investigations; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; and the State Attorney’s Office for the 7th Judicial Circuit.
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