Dozen arrested in sting for soliciting sex from minors

SHALIMAR, Fla., Aug. 13, 2021—A five-day multiagency task force operation targeting online solicitation of children by sexual predators has netted a dozen arrests so far.

Charges are pending against other individuals with more suspects to be identified, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

Twelve men were arrested when they turned up at specific pre-designated locations for what they thought would be sexual contact with the juveniles.

Arrested are:

  • Aug. 5: Tyler Valentine O’Quain; 25; Pensacola; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 6: Andre Dwayne Copeland; 21; Crestview; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 6: Vaibhav Pal; 29; Fairhope; sexual assault of a victim under 12 years of age; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 7: Dentonie Danielle Allen; 40; Fort Walton Beach; obscene communication: using a computer to solicit parent/guardian consent, obscene communication: traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 7: David Paul McQueen; 30; Lapine, Ala.; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony; child cruelty: transmitting out-of-state information harmful to a minor
  • Aug. 7: Mykeltin Kewes Rashad Lett; 23; Mobile, Ala.; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 8: Marcus Kadeem Coleman; 30; Green Bay, Wis.; obscene communication: using a computer to lure/seduce a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, child cruelty: transmitting harmful info to minors, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 8: Austin James Foreman; 27; Panama City Beach; obscene communication: using a computer to lure/seduce a child, obscene communication: traveling to meet a child after use of a computer to lure child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 8: Shane Matthew Morrow; 28; Milton; registered sex offender with a GPS monitor; Aug. 8; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, obscene communication: transmitting obscene information to a minor via computer, child cruelty: transmitting harmful info to minors, using a phone in a felony and probation violation for using a computer, being on the internet and unsupervised contact with minors
  • Aug. 10: Christopher Alan Bartle, 27; Niceville; child cruelty: promotion of sexual performance, obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 10: Colton Seth Keeton; 32; Crestview; obscene communication: using a computer to lure/seduce a child, child cruelty: transmitting harmful info to minors, using a phone in a felony
  • Aug. 10: Hector Javier Martinez; 25; Milton; obscene communication: using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child, using a phone in a felony

Undercover law enforcement officers posed as juveniles in popular chat groups; social media apps such as Kik Messenger, Meet Me and Whisper; message boards and gaming apps, and were contacted by adult males who solicited them for sex and/or sent sexual images.

Charges range from traveling to meet a minor for sex to use of a computer to seduce, solicit and lure a child.

During the five-day operation, 32 suspects who committed multiple felonies were identified, some from out of state, with 12 arrested so far.

“We can never let down our guard for a second when it comes to protecting our children from these sexual predators who are always looking for opportunities to prey on them,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden.

Agencies assisting in the operation include Office of the State Attorney; Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Walton, Escambia and Santa Rosa County sheriff’s offices; Crestview Police Department; U.S. Office of Homeland Security; Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Naval Criminal Investigations Service out of Jacksonville.

“I want to thank all the participating agencies in our regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who took part in Operation Night Owl and who focus on this mission daily,” said Aden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s