By Noah Pransky
Former Army JAG tells 10 Investigates the Air Force is breaking the law by participating in local sex stings where no military members are involved.
PINELLAS COUNTY - Not only have Central Florida law enforcement officers violated federal rules in conducting "To Catch a Predator"-inspired sex stings, but 10 Investigates has learned they may also violate longstanding federal law that prohibits the use of military resources to enforce state laws.
While Tampa Bay-area law enforcement agencies continue to refuse to turn over public records from questionable "predator" roundups, 10 Investigates has learned through court records that a member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has been a regular member of Central Florida undercover stings for more than a year.
In a recent deposition, the agent indicated his goal was to try and trap service members who might be willing to break the law. But he also admitted to targeting -- and helping arrest -- civilians as well. According to an operation plan from a recent Pinellas County sting, the agent, William Glidewell, acted as a "chatter," communicating with potential investigative targets online. He was put up in a Clearwater Beach hotel for four days and reported to the sting's lead agencies, the Clearwater Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
"It's odd that you would have a military (investigator) being so treated like civilian law enforcement," said Charles Rose, a Stetson Law professor and retired Army JAG Corps member. "You cannot assign military personnel -- on orders -- to a (local law enforcement) organization."
10 Investigates previously showed how the sex stings were taking valuable resources away from other areas of law enforcement and frequently targeted young men who were merely looking for women their own age.