Sunday, August 17, 2014

FL - Officers bend rules to boost sex sting arrest totals

Sheriff Grady Judd
Sheriff Grady Judd
Original Article (Video available)


By Noah Pransky

This is the first of a two-part series examining how law enforcement is blurring the lines on due process.

POLK COUNTY - In the decade since Chris Hansen and "To Catch a Predator" popularized Internet sex stings, more than 1,200 men in Florida alone have been arrested, accused of preying on underage teens and children for sex.

But as the stings put more and more men behind bars, detectives are working harder and harder to keep up their arrest numbers. And the tactics they're using to put alleged sexual offenders in jail are sweeping up large numbers of law-abiding men, too.

A yearlong investigation by 10 Investigates reveals many of the men whose mugshots have been paraded out by local sheriffs in made-for-TV press conferences were not seeking to meet children online. Instead, they were minding their own business, looking for other adults, when detectives started to groom and convince them to break the law.

While detectives used to post ads suggesting an underage teen or child was available for sex, they now routinely post more innocuous personal ads of adults on traditional dating sites. When men – many of them under 25 with no criminal history - respond, officers switch the bait and typically indicate their age is really 14 or 15 years old. However, sometimes the storyline isn't switched until the men, who were looking for legal love, already start falling for the undercover agent.

According to arrest affidavits inspected by 10 Investigates, law enforcement is also now routinely making first contact with men who have done nothing wrong, responding to their ads on dating sites like After men start conversing with what they think are adults, officers change the age they claim to be, but try to convince the men to continue the conversation anyway.

Other examples include undercover officers showing interest in a man, then later introducing the idea of having sex with the undercover's "child." If the men indicate they weren't interested, they were still often arrested for just talking to the adult.

Critics of the stings, including a number of prominent Tampa Bay law enforcement leaders, tell 10 News the operations make for better press conferences than they do crime fighting. Many of the men who are arrested for sexual predator crimes see little jail time.

But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, when asked about over-aggressive detectives, instead went on the offensive: "The concern (I have) is that you inflate your investigative reporting to make it glitzy."


Jason Sanders said... new stories since this one? did the owner(s) of this blog get arrested or something?

Jason Sanders said...

Arrested for what? We are not sex offenders. We just stopped posting so much due to burn out, etc.

Jason Sanders said...

yes take your time

Jason Sanders said...

Sorry, it was never assumed that you are sex offenders, though I must admit that your statement raises an eyebrow. I apologize for any offense taken. Please keep up the good work, it appalls me that we as a people, a nation can witness so many wrongs done in the past but quickly forget them to jump on the next oppression bandwagon.

Jason Sanders said...

What a POS!!! Nice job FWPD

Jason Sanders said...

I just wanted to share a video link that shares ideas that helped me overcome sexual abuse, and has also helped many who feel they are forever broken (offenders). I hope it will bring healing to someone.

Jason Sanders said...

Wow, one would think that people are senseless to others. So where does love thy neighbor as thyself come in, I guess it doesn't or these people don't know that love covers a multitude of sins'. For every negative thing in a person's life there should be a positive. People that don't know the God of the bible don't know how to forgive.
Look that up in your Bible's and you'll find the answer of forgiving and what the bible says. What a world we live in...oh where is compassion..

Jason Sanders said...

Common sense aside and everything these online sting operations are not done in teenage chat rooms like they suppose to be. Isn't that the police job to protect the teenagers'? To be politically right if they want to do there sting or whatever they should be in a teenage chat room. Another adult duping another adult by this game of Blind Man's Bluff is a cash cow for them. Law enforcement makes money, the courts make money, the public defender makes money. Its just a money thing all in the name of public safety.

Jason Sanders said...

I wonder if this Grady Judd knows anything about deception of anything about the bible.. That comment that he said when he went on the offense says it all.... Pride goeth before the fall. Even his speech for the media is so repulsive. He will get his judgment I'm sure.

Jason Sanders said...

So true! Arizona needs to be brought down with their stings!!