ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orange County Sheriff's Office has announced the arrest of 31 people in an Internet child sex sting called "SpiderWeb 2012."
The operation used the internet to locate and identify people who use the web to sexually exploit children and travel to meet minors for the purpose of sexual activity, according to a OCSO release.
Deputies said the arrestees traveled from within the Central Florida area to make contact with the "victims," answering ads from various websites that focused on offering "fun" with a minor. Deputies said one of the defendants even arrived with a Happy Meal and another, with a box of candy.
When the defendants arrived, they were taken down and arrested by Orange County deputies.
"Despite all the media attention and the notoriety that's been paid to this issue there's still individuals willing to engage in this type of activity," said Sheriff' Jerry Demings, who has been under fire on accusations that OCSO stings have been politically motivated. Demings told Local 6 that although he is running for re-election, the work of the sheriff's office has to continue and that he is doing his job.
In last year's operation, deputies arrested 50 people. This year's operation was timed with Halloween to send a message, according to Demings.
"If you are bold enough to try to go after luring a child into inappropriate sexual behavior, then we're going to come after you," Demings said. "It's just that simple."
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