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Author Topic: NW FL Operation Nets 3 Men for Soliciting Children Online & Child Porn  (Read 963 times)
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« on: March 23, 2009, 10:24:51 PM »

March 23, 2009

Northwest Florida Operation Nets 3 Men for Soliciting "Children" Online or Possessing Child Pornography

SANTA ROSA COUNTY, FL – A joint agency operation has resulted in the arrest of three men on charges they either possessed child pornography or used the internet to sexually solicit individuals they believed were children, when they were actually chatting with undercover CyberCrime investigators. The operation was coordinated by Attorney General Bill McCollum’s CyberCrime Unit.

“Cooperative efforts are the best way to address this statewide threat to our children,” said Attorney General McCollum.

Arrested during the operation were the following individuals:

Hatch, Jason; 23; Milton, FL; unemployed; charged with two counts of possession of child pornography; booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail;

Misleh, Joseph; 56; Mary Esther, FL; lawn care worker; charged with online solicitation of a minor, traveling to meet a minor for a sexual encounter; booked into the Okaloosa County Jail;

Girard, David; 53; Robertsdale, AL; unemployed; charged with online solicitation of a minor, attempted lewd and lascivious battery; booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail.

“Joint operations like this make a clear statement that preying on children will not be tolerated in our community,” said Santa Rosa Sheriff Wendall Hall. “The internet will be patrolled, just as we patrol our neighborhoods.”

Over the course of the operation, 11 search warrants were served in Okaloosa, Escambia, and Santa Rosa counties.

“Our police department was happy to be working cooperatively with all these agencies, making a difference and protecting our children,” said Pensacola Assistant Police Chief Chip Simmons.

The agencies involved in the operation included the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Pensacola Police Department, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Gulf Breeze Police Department, the Milton Police Department, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, the State Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial Circuit, the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Pensacola Junior College Police Department, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

Numerous criminal investigations are ongoing.

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