Clickorlando.com —————By Daniel Dahm ——————-Mon., Feb.22, 2021
OCALA, Fla. – Eight men were arrested in Marion County on suspicion of arranging to have sex with children, sheriff’s officials said Monday.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said other local, state and federal agencies assisted in a “sting operation to identify and capture offenders seeking sex with children.”
According to sheriff’s officials, the men made arrangements to meet and have sex with a girl or a boy, ages 13 to 15, in Marion County.
“These eight men traveled to a location in Marion County to have sex with the child they thought they had been messaging online,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Instead, they were met by law enforcement, placed in handcuffs and arrested.”
Four others were arrested for transmitting harmful material to whom they believed were minors, officials said.
During the online interactions, all of the men engaged in lewd conversations with whom they thought was the child and described the sex acts they wanted to perform, the sheriff’s office said. Some of the men also sent sexually explicit photos, according to officials.
“I will always use all my resources to hunt these evil predators down and bring them to justice,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement. “I will continue to do everything I can to keep this evil from our children.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Ocala and Gainesville police and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office assisted in the sting, MCSO said.