(The AEGIS Alliance) – An undercover investigation that lasted a month and was carried out by Florida sheriff’s deputies has led to more than 2,000 felony charges against 16 male suspects, including a 15-year-old.
The investigation that has been, referred to as “Operation Guardians of Innocence VII,” had been executed by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The ages of the male suspects who were apprehended vary from 15 to 63. Four of them are actually teens.
The males that got apprehended are presently facing a total of 2,777 felony charges in total. The affirmed criminal offenses consist of possession of child porn and also the advertising of child porn. Two of the men are additionally facing charges of sex-related battery as well as using a kid in a sex-related manner.
Sheriff Grady Judd stated investigators uncovered 5 underage child victims in the course of the sting operation.
“Parents have to look out for their children because there are devious people like this that are looking out to attack their children,” Judd stated in a news release on Thursday.
A person the authorities apprehended was a man named Patrick Johanson who was a corrections officer employed by the Polk Correctional Institute. Investigators looked through Johanson’s digital devices and apparently discovered photos of kids, some as youthful as 6 months of age, being sexually assaulted.
Authorities stated Johanson informed them he looked at and shared child porn with Facebook Messenger.
Judd stated Johanson said to investigators, “I knew one day you’d be here to pick me up.”
“Are you kidding me?” Judd stated. “The guy who is supposed to be working in the system to safely house prisoners admitted that he looked at child porn and he knew we’d be there to arrest him? Well, now he is in jail.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office executed 23 search warrants as a result of acting on a number of tips.
One such tip led authorities to carry out a warrant at the home of age 32 Harrison Egbert. Authorities stated they discovered thousands of video clips as well as photos of kids as youthful as 2 being sexually assaulted.
The sheriff’s office pointed out that Egbert admitted to the sexual abuse of 3 girls between 5, 7, and 8 years old. Egbert said to authorities that his buddy named David Lavin purportedly assisted him in his abusive acts.
Egbert is facing 1,000 felony counts of child porn possession, 5 counts of capital sex-related battery, 5 counts of using a kid in sex-related performance, and even more. Lavin is facing charges of capital sex-related battery, using a kid in sex-related performance, advertising sex-related performance of a child as well as a lewd exhibition.
Judd pointed out that additional material may be located as investigators search the electronic devices confiscated in the course of the operation.
“This is only the beginning – once we serve search warrants and seize these suspects’ devices, a forensic analysis will be conducted, and we will, in all likelihood, be adding more child pornography charges,” sheriff Judd stated.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.