MIAMI (CBSMiami) –Three South Florida men who reportedly used the internet to arrange for sex with children were taken into custody as part of an online sex sting.
Dubbed ‘Operation Intercept”, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said each of the men arrested responded to Internet-based ads and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations. In the end they each agreed to come to a location in Sarasota County where they thought they were going to have sex with a child or children. When the men arrived, however, they were met by detectives and placed under arrest.READ MORE: Annual Florida Keys Seven-Mile Bridge Run Staged With Coronavirus Protocols
Among those charged were Lieutenant Commander Shawn Gray, 45, with the U.S. Coast Guard Judge Advocate Corps who is stationed in Miami. Also arrested were 25-year old Kevin Ramanan of Dania Beach and 21-year old Dalbert Borges of Hialeah. All three were charged with Use of Computer to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child to Commit Sex Acts and Travel to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child to Commit Sex Acts.READ MORE: Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Miami Dolphins To Serve 500 Hot Meals To Miami-Dade Schools Families
“Predators establish contact with kids through chat rooms, instant messaging and discussion boards. The anonymity of the Internet allows these criminals to seem like caring individuals, but they’re only looking for vulnerable victims,” said Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight.MORE NEWS: Royal Family Pays Final Respects To Prince Philip, Funeral Held At St. George's Chapel
The operation took place over six days. It involved officers from a number of agencies including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland security and the Central Florida Internet Crimes
Against Children (ICAC) Task force.