There’s only one way St. Johns County Undersheriff Joel Bolante can describe the 15 men arrested in a child sex sting:
“If you’re an adult and you are willing to sexually exploit children, in my eyes, you’re a predator,” he says.
The St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with several other law enforcement agencies announced the arrest of 15 men today. They were all caught in a five day undercover investigation in to child sexual exploitation.
“We’re glad to get those kind of folks off the street,” he says.
The men arrested are between 19 and 49 years old and range in employment from an enlisted Navy man to a St. Johns County school bus driver. As part of “Operation No Soliciting”, undercover detectives posing as juveniles or parents spoke with the suspects through online chat rooms. They then arranged to meet with the suspects at an undercover home in the Northwest part of the county.
“No one forced them to come to St. Augustine. They did that on their own,” Bolante says.
Once they arrived at the home, the suspects were taken in to custody.
The suspects came from Georgia, Volusia, St. Johns, Duval, Alachua, Clay, Nassau and Flagler counties. They are all facing felony charges.