Man wearing 'I would cuddle you so much harder' T-shirt arrested in online predator sting
Internet predator operation nets 7 arrests in Volusia County
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County, state and federal authorities worked together recently on an undercover operation to arrest men who they say were attempting to meet young girls for sex using social media to lure potential victims.
Seven men were arrested last week during Operation Unlawful Attraction and charged with using a computer to lure a child, traveling to solicit a child, attempted lewd and lascivious battery and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Daytona Beach Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office also assisted during the undercover operation.
Detectives said during the operation, wherein officers posed as 14-year-old girls on different social media sites, they were contacted by about 50 people trying to meet young girls online.
"The other ones didn't make that overstep," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said of the people who communicated with officers online but didn't come to the meeting.
One suspect, Chitwood said, chatted online during another predator operation two years ago but did not show up to a meeting. This time, George Wallace, 43, of South Daytona, did make that step and was arrested at a Racetrac gas station, Chitwood said.
“It’s a matter of time before they get caught," Chitwood said. “We just hope to God that nobody gets hurt while they’re waiting to get caught."
Another suspect, James Bown, 34, of Gainesville, had on the "perfect shirt to wear when you’re getting arrested for soliciting a 14-year-old," Chitwood said.
In a photo taken of Bown after his arrest, he's wearing a T-shirt that reads, “I would cuddle you so much harder."
Chitwood said Bown tried to convince deputies he knew it was a set up and wanted to come watch it.
All seven men were arrested at Racetrac gas stations in Deltona in Daytona Beach between Wednesday and Sunday of last week, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Ryan Kirk, 31, of New Smyrna Beach; Jorge Cruz, 49, of DeBary; Jonathan harden, 25, of Sanford; Ronald Foley, 28, of Daytona Beach; and Jonathan Hayes, 22, of Eustis, were also arrested.
The suspects face two to five years in prison if convicted.
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