Detectives assigned to the Lake County sheriff's Cyber Crimes Unit recently concluded a 10-day, two-phase operation targeting subjects online attempting to meet children for sexual activity, as well as those committing acts related to prostitution. The investigation, dubbed Operation Catfish, recovered a 17-year-old victim of human trafficking and resulted in 40 arrests for various sex-related crimes.
Detectives conducted the operation from a vacant home in South Lake County, during which time they posed online as a 14-year-old child. The subjects traveled to the home with the intent to have sex with whom they thought was the child and were taken into custody upon arrival. One subject fled the area but was later identified and charged accordingly.
Detectives also seized two vehicles and recovered a stolen firearm.
This operation was in cooperation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other member agencies of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
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