A weekend multi-agency sex sting has resulted in the arrests of 15 men on child sex charges in unincorporated Hillsborough County.
In a news release, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Monday said the five-day operation — called Operation e-Guardian — targeted child predators.
Using social media sites and online chat rooms, undercover agents communicated with the men, who believed they were talking with a child. They drove to a specific location to have sex with whom they thought was an underage boy or girl, the FDLE said.
“Sadly, sexual predators will use any means available to them, including the Internet, to lure children in order to exploit them,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. “This operation was a great multi-agency collaboration that has brought down 15 child predators. My office has developed an online safety tip sheet for parents and kids, and I encourage Floridians to visit MyFloridaLegal.com and follow the human trafficking pages to download this information.”
Special agents arrested 15 suspects from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota and Palm Beach counties:
Trinton Andre Jones, 23, of Riverview
Jeffrey Bryan Willey, 53, of Riverview
Robert John Frank, 45, of Zephyrhills
Jason Randall Miles, 46, of Tampa
Ocnel Blanc, 28, of Temple Terrace
Michael William Murphy, 23, of Sarasota
Daniel R. Anderson, 37, of Tampa
Clay Lee Johnson, 25, of Thonotosassa
Clay Lee Reddick, 28, of Winter Haven
Mark Anthony Thompson, 23, of Riverview
Samuel David Ramirez, 23, of Ruskin
Bryan Lee La Clair, 51, of Bartow
Jose Ramon Alvarez III, 23, of Wellington
Branden Robert Sarno, 23, of Palm Harbor
David R. Yoder, 68, of Dade City
The operation included law enforcement officials with FDLE, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Statewide Prosecution and the State Attorney’s Office, 13th Judicial Circuit.
“Operation e-Guardian is prime example of the force-multiplier of law enforcement partnerships. All involved are to be commended,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said.