Marion County sting operation produces 2 more arrests of men facing child sex charges

‘Operation M.A.P. Mirage’ now sees 22 arrests

Charles Jones (left) and John Marchlewski (right) (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – An undercover Marion County Sheriff’s Office sting operation that wrapped up last week is still taking names as two more men have since been arrested, accused of varying attempts to engage in sex acts with minors, according to the sheriff’s office’s social media.

The five-day sting — known as “Operation M.A.P. Mirage,” utilizing an acronym that stands for “minor-attracted persons” — saw 20 arrests of men aged 22-79 years old, officials shared at a news conference May 23. Most of the arrestees had traveled in their attempts to meet a child for sex, unbeknownst to how they were among the over 100 men speaking online with detectives that were posing as children, the sheriff’s office said.

The latest arrests are those of Charles Jones, 31, and John Marchlewski, 52, officials said.

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Jones is currently in custody at the Marion County Jail, where he faces a charge of transmitting material harmful to a minor, according to the sheriff’s office.

Marchlewski was arrested May 23 via a warrant for using a computer to solicit a parent of a child for unlawful sexual conduct and unlawful use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, officials said, adding he was also arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement regarding two counts of possession of child pornography. He is currently in custody at the Lake County Jail.

In a statement, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods expressed his revulsion at those arrested in the sting.

“I am disgusted and dismayed that there are people in this world who seek to harm innocent children,” Woods said. “I will never stop devoting every resource I have at my disposal to bring to justice anyone trying to harm a child in my county. I am grateful for the dedication of each participant in this operation and their work to get these vile individuals into my jail.”

Marion County arrests in undercover child sex predator operation (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

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Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.