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 September 12th, 2008  
Operation Safe Summer III snares 28 Internet-based sexual predators
Here are the comments of St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara at the Sept. 12 news conference announcing the arrest of 28 internet-based sexual predators of the past three months.

Today, we are announcing the results of Operation Safe Summer III.

This is a cooperative series of investigations by officials of six federal, state and local law agencies into Internet-based sexual predators.

Agencies that took part are:

* St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office
* Martin County Sheriff's Office
* Port St. Lucie Police Department
* Florida Department of Law Enforcement
* U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
* U.S. Attorney’s Office

There were a total of eight investigators from these agencies, who made 28 arrests.

Defendants were arrested with the help of local law agencies in several states including: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New York State (Syracuse), and several cities in Florida.

Charges included traveling to meet a minor for sexual intercourse, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and related charges. Because the sexual offenders used the Internet, the participation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office was invaluable.

Many of the cases were turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Decisions were made on a case-by-case basis.

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