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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

21 child sexual predators are arrested in Florida

Por DamianToo

Florida authorities have intensified investigations against sexual predators and in the last weeks twenty-one men were arrested and accused of attempting to sexually abuse minors. The modus operandi of all the defendants, between the ages of 22 and 58, was the same: they contacted victims through social networks or dating or chat applications.

The detectives who carried out the "Operation Interception V", which was conducted in Sarasota County, created profiles in different applications and social networks and pretended to be adolescents between 12 and 14 years. Four of the arrested brought condoms to their appointments, while others offered to the undercover detectives to buy and take drugs and others sent them explicit material, said Tom Knight, of the Sarasota Police, at a press conference broadcast on Facebook. "A handful of these criminals traveled from as far away as Miami to meet alleged minors," Knight said of those arrested.

Among those arrested is Albert Vira III, 24, who worked until September 2017 as a mechanic at Walt Disney World. The man contacted a supposed 14-year-old girl on the Internet and induced her to have sex with him. "He even promised that he would stay with her if he made her pregnant," Knight said.

Among those arrested is also the Colombian Juan Mejía Rodríguez, 37, who used the dating application "Grindr" to send his explicit photographs to an alleged minor. On May 21, when he would meet the child, he discovered that he was a detective. Mejía is in ICE custody and is subject to deportation, Sarasota Police said.

The Mexican Ubaldo Bautista, 42, is also accused of contacting a minor through the social network "Meet Me" and to arrange an appointment to sexually abuse her. Bautista also remains in ICE custody and had already been arrested for driving with a suspended license, supermarket robbery, false identity and DUI, among other charges.

Another defendant is a resident of Hialeah identified as Miguel Angel Jimenez, 22, accused of traveling to Sarasota to have sex with a minor. The 21 arrested were charged with more than 60 felony counts. The Sarasota Police pointed out nine applications and social networks that are used by sexual predators to contact minors: Snapchat, Bumble, Kik, LiveMe, Holla, Whisper, Ask.FM, Calculator%, Hot or Not.