JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams on Tuesday announced the arrests of 26 men accused of online solicitation of sex from minors.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Williams said the suspects communicated with undercover officers, meetings were arranged and arrests were made between June 23 to 27 as part of Operation Endgame.
All are facing second- and third-degree felonies and could face up to 25 years in prison.
Most of the suspects are from the Jacksonville area, but one is from Kilgore, Texas, another is from Brunswick, and another one is from the Fort Myers area.
The suspects range in age from 21 to 59.
Other agencies involved include the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and state attorney’s office. Williams said these agencies will continue to work hard to stop predators.
“As law enforcement officers, there’s no higher priority than safeguarding the children of our community, so the men and woman of all of these agencies up here will do that with a relentless effort to remove child predators from our streets,” Williams said. “There’s no shortage of suspects in these cases. It’s a challenge, but obviously something we continue to focus on.”
The sheriff said the reason why the announcement about Operation Endgame is coming out months after the arrests is because there were spinoff investigations related to these cases and he wanted to make sure he didn’t jeopardize any other investigations related to online solicitation of sex from minors.