12 Florida Men Arrested During Citrus County Undercover Pedo Investigation “Operation Lucky Strike”
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said they had arrested 12 Suspects during “Operation Lucky Strike,” a tactical undercover Internet Crimes Against Children was launched to stop dangerous cyber predators who attempt to have sex with children.
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Law enforcement officials posed as minors on different websites, waiting to be solicited through online messages. The suspects were aware of the child’s age but still elected to send sexually explicit pictures, messages, and detailed requests for sexual activities they wanted to perform with the child.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that some of the arrestees had driven more than an hour in the belief that they were meeting a minor to engage in sex. But upon their arrival, they were apprehended by law enforcement.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office worked with the U.S. Secret Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tavares Police Department to arrest the suspects.
“These abhorrent and sick individuals prey upon children for their own perverted benefit,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement. “These individuals knowingly send vile and sexually explicit messages to minors online, and even travel hours to meet up with a child with the intention to carry out these repulsive acts if not something worse.” “Preying on children is absolutely despicable. I am incredibly proud of the extraordinary partnership between our agency and the law enforcement agencies who assisted us in bringing these monsters to justice and off our streets. If operations like ‘Lucky Strike’ takes only one predator off the streets, it is a success. We’ve stopped 12 immoral criminals this time, so we deem ‘Lucky Strike’ a huge success.”
Mathew Leathers, Glenn Cunningham, James Patrick Lake, Mark Philip Werner Lovric, Alex Anthony Francis, Cristian Gabriel Rosado-Marrero, Devin Michael Cordeiro, Franklin Lezama, Jeff D. Adams, Sean Robert Mooney, Ralph Joseph Perkins, and Robert Allan Rankin were taken into custody in connection with operation Lucky Strike.
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Eleven of the suspects were arrested for attempting to have sex with minors, and Rankin was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia as an accomplice to Mooney for driving him to the meeting location.
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