Child sex sting nets 16 arrests

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – An undercover sting led to the arrests of 16 suspected child predators in Polk County, authorities said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the results of a 6-day undercover operation focusing on child predators.

Authorities said the suspects traveled from a number of counties across Florida to meet children between the ages of 12 and 14.

The following individuals are facing charges:

  • Jorge Hernandez Lopez, 44, of Davenport is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex , one count attempted lewd battery, one count of a computer to seduce a child.
  • Donald Paul Diem Jr., 33, is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex and one count Attempted Lewd Battery
  • Jose Salgado, 28, of Plant City is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • William Russel Bronson, 44, of Orlando, is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Jimmie Rush Jr., 33, of Lorida is charged with and one count Use of Computer to Seduce a Child (F-3)
  • Matthew Budd, 22, of Auburndale is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2), one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3), one count Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor (F-3)
  • Mitchell Gaunt, 59, of Apopka, is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Christian Buford, 21, of Lakeland, is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Miguel Caez Jr., 26, of Davenport is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2), one count Use of Computer to Seduce a Child (F-2), one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3), and one count VOP (F-3)
  • Nicholas Sydnes, 27, is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Bhavya Shah, 24, of Tampa is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Eric Michael Chachick, 28, of Ruskin is charged with one count Use of Two-Way Communication Device to Commit a Felony (F-3) and one count Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor (F-3)
  • Paul Lagerblade, 48, of Brooksville is charged with two counts Use of a Computer to Seduce a Child (F-3) and one count Use of a Computer to Solicit a Parent to Consent to the Participation of a Child Committing a Sex Act (F-3)
  • Carlos Javier Torres-Torres, 28, of Clermont is charged with one count Traveling to Meet a Minor For Sex (F-2) and one count Attempted Lewd Battery (F-3)
  • Jason Griffith, 39, of Daytona Beach is charged with one count Use of Two-Way Communication Device to Commit a Felony (F-3), two counts Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor (F-3), and two counts Use of a Computer to Seduce a Child (F-3)

Further information regarding those individuals was provided at Tuesday’s press conference. You can watch the event in the video player above.

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