The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25 people during Operation Intercept. The four-day crackdown focused on protecting children from online predators and human trafficking.
 
According to investigators, the men arrested responded to Internet-based ads, online apps, and social media sites to engage in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations. They range in age from 19-65. One of the accused rode a three-wheel bicycle to the home while in possession of cocaine and another attempted to lure the child into his vehicle while several sent explicit photos and brought condoms with them. 

“Unfortunately, the internet allows for easy and anonymous access to children by strangers who are hiding behind a computer screen. That is why these operations are paramount to ensuring our most vulnerable population is safe and protected,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight.
 
“The men arrested during this operation managed to blend into society and attempted to prey on children by developing a trust through promises to exploit them for sexual purposes.” 
 
The following suspects were arrested in the operation and charged with:
 
- Steven Aldacosta, DOB 08/04/79, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
 
- Richard Antico, DOB 01/05/87, of Lake Worth, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as a food deliveryman.
 
- Jose Ayala-Gil, DOB 12/01/96, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as a detailer at a Sarasota carwash. Ayala-Gil is a foreign born resident with an alien registration and prior criminal history.
 
- Georgios Bakomihalis, DOB 02/07/92, of Wimauma, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as an Uber driver.
 
- Nicholas Bonito, DOB 07/17/00, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
 
- Arthur Byrne, DOB 08/28/90, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and Possession of a MDMA.   
 
- Azis Casanas-Ramos, DOB 12/09/99, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.

- Joseph Cate, DOB 01/26/86, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as a mechanic.
 
- Maxwell Crain-Perrault, DOB 06/04/00, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
 
- Andrew Crose, DOB 09/21/92, of Venice, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and Violation of Probation. He reports he works for a lawn care company.
 
- Travis Deel, DOB 10/22/79, of Jacksonville, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts and Transmission of Harmful Material. At the time of his arrest, Deel was enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer, scheduled to deploy the following day.
 
- Michael Doran, DOB 01/05/91, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Transmission of Harmful Materials, Possession of Cocaine, and Violation of Probation. Doran rode his bicycle to the home while in possession of cocaine. He reports he is employed as a cook in Sarasota.
 
- Jarred Durant, DOB 05/03/94, of Riverview, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and two counts of Possession of a Concealed Firearm. When Durant arrived to the home, he was in possession of two guns and various narcotics.
 
- Constantin Fota, DOB 05/16/92, of Lehigh Acres, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.
 
- Christopher Hamilton, DOB 04/26/65, of Sarasota, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Prostitution, and Commit to Offer Prostitution with Transmission of HIV. He reports he is employed at a car dealership in Sarasota. 

- Richard LaGace Sr., DOB 01/09/54, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and Transmission of Harmful Material.  
 
- Omar Lazo, DOB 08/26/96, of Tampa, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as an electrician.
 
- Pedro Lopez-Garcia, DOB 08/12/87, of Palmetto, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and three counts of Transmission of Harmful Materials. He is an illegal immigrant and reports he works as a handyman and roofer. Upon Lopez-Garcia’s arrest, deputies notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) however, he was later released on bond.
 
- Marcos Manuel-Juan, DOB 05/11/96, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He is an illegal immigrant who reports he is employed as a fiberglass repairman. Manuel-Juan is currently in the custody of ICE.
 
- Michael McBee, DOB 06/03/85, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as a retail store manager in Ellenton. When McBee arrived to the home, he attempted to lure the child into his vehicle.
 
- Douglas Mutschler, DOB 04/28/81, of Venice, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and Violation of Probation stemming from charges in 2017 in Seminole County for Travelling to Meet a Minor and Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors.   
 
- Austin Patterson, DOB 08/01/95, of Bradenton, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed as a cook in Bradenton. 
 
- Joshua Rector, DOB 04/03/95, of Punta Gorda, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts.

- Geovany Rodriguez, DOB 06/11/92, of Palmetto, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act and Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts. He reports he is employed at a pawnshop in Bradenton.
 
- Juan Vazquez, DOB 03/06/00, of Davenport, is charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, and Transmission of Harmful Material.
 
The sheriff’s office regularly conducts initiatives to curb child sexual exploitation and trafficking.
 

Knight's message to parents... check the apps you children are using on their phones. He supplied a list of 15 apps that predators are using to line up sex with kids. They include:

  1. Meetme
  2. Grindr
  3. Skout
  4. Whatsapp
  5. TikTok
  6. Badoo
  7. Bumble
  8. Snapchat
  9. Kik
  10. Liveme
  11. Holla
  12. Whisper
  13. Ask.fm
  14. Calculator% (which is disguised as a calculator app)
  15. Hot or Not 
 
Operation Intercept was conducted in partnership with and with support from the Department of Homeland Security, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and North Port Police Department. Several of those arrested are still under continued investigation for other related and non-related crimes.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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