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National

FL: law enforcement may have entrapped alleged sexual predators

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida – A document obtained by 10 News indicates law enforcement may have crossed the line when trying to round up alleged sexual predators over the weekend — and defense attorneys say entrapment cases could be built around the evidence. The multi-agency sting, led by the Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s Office and Clearwater Police Department, netted 35 arrests in “Operation Home Alone.” The effort was coordinated by the region’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.

ICAC guidelines instruct undercover officers to “allow the investigative target to set the tone, pace, and subject matter of the online conversation.” But a Florida man, who says he responded to the officers’ Craigslist ad, sent 10 News an alleged e-mail chain that indicates law enforcement is willing to bend, or break, their own ICAC guidelines to get “targets” to talk about sex with children. Full Article

Related: 35 sexual predators arrested in Clearwater police ‘Operation Home Alone’

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  1. C

    Florida is an s hole on so many levels. While the cops entrap citizens for make believe crimes, young boys have been systematically murdered under their noses at a house of horrors reform school.

  2. mch

    This sort of thing has been going on all over the country, but in California, it’s primarily Orange County and Santa Clara Counties that run internet stings. The police do have a targeted male profile they’re seeking to lure: Male, 35-50+, single and in adult type chat rooms. Here’s their tactic; First, they engage the target, indicating they’re in college or single adult female; next, they’ll recant and admit to being under 14 yrs old (magical age for a slam dunk felony charge). Keep in mind, they make the initial contact, they keep the conversation going, they have a set pattern or rules they follow, but they also go well into gray areas. They will encourage a meet, their idea usually, they will set the tone during the conversation. Now, the real kicker is, if they succeed in setting up a meet, they will probably lose certain e-mails or IM’s that shows their culpability in the whole scenario. Once the have you hooked, they’ll hit you with serious charges, and you’ll be a deer in the headlights since most targets are “crime virgins”. You’ll take a crappy plea bargain, spend about $40-50K without a trial. When you ask for certain documents at discovery, they’ll have been “lost”.
    As we know, the rest is history, lives ruined, no way out, never a victim, never a touch, never a contact. Amazing that one can have intercourse and end up with a non-registerable offense in California, but get on the internet and you’re screwed! Ah, the high price of bad judgement!

    • Joe

      Not an expert on this, but the m.o. generally includes dropping all charges in exchange for a guilty plea to a single one, one that includes mandatory registration. And then probation only, as no one has the motivation or money to incarcerate these people.

      Another ‘predator’ exposed, scores of children ‘saved’, mucho publicity and accolades for the LE Agency, and job security for same.

  3. Rick Trapman

    Here is a recommendation for you individuals that truly feel that LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTRAPPED you.

    You need to run your case all the way to jury selection and even trial and force your public defenders (PDs) or private defense attorneys (PDAs) to submit every
    possible Motion (Suppress, Double Jeopardy, Dismiss, Dismiss L&L, Compel
    (all evidence, ICAC Investigative and Operational Standards employed in the
    operation, Sting Operational Plan, copies of the operational briefing, copy of
    the States MOU with DOJ ICAC Program Manager), etc, etc.) to the Court and make the Prosecutor work his ass off until he offers a good Plea, dismiss or drop
    charges.

    Many of you have been ENTRAPPED via illegal internet website postings where the Undercover Agents have posted in adult websites and during the conversations, did a ”bait and switch” scenario.

    Ask yourself, ”Who is doing the soliciting, Who is doing the luring and enticement,
    Who is sending a picture of a minor to whom, Who is lying and posing as an
    adult, Who is asking you to bring condoms, Who is asking you to travel, Who is
    ignoring your initial ”No” or ”This is illegal to have sex with a minor”
    comments and still coercing you to commit, Who is asking you what you would
    like to do to the minor, Who is making you commit and be descriptive about what
    you want to do with the minor, Who is asking you for the type of vehicle you
    are driving, when you are traveling and arriving, Who is calling or texting you
    back, again, and again, and again, after you do not initially agree to meet
    them, i.e. the minor or parent of a minor, Who is leading the conversation and
    bringing up sex with a minor, etc. etc. etc. These are all things that these
    Undercover Agents are doing which all fall into entrapment – soliciting,
    luring, enticing, etc. etc. Remember, when you went online to look for an NSA
    encounter, you did not do this in search of sex with a minor.

    —————————————————–

    If you are a real sexual predator, then you need to face your punishment and you have been caught and I applaud the ICAC Task Force for catching you. The Courts will clearly decide this. All others, go fight your cases.

    ——————————————————-

    PD and some private defense attorneys (PDA) just don’t want to do all of this work and will recommend against this since they feel that you will get nowhere with it. BS Make them work to support you and if they don’t, dump them. Don’t pay your PDA all the money upfront and don’t agree to a non-refundable amount. Add to the contract how you desire to pay him in Month, Quarterly installments as the case progresses and then the final payment at the end if your case goes to trial.

    It is just sad to keep hearing that PDs and PDAs won’t do the Motions or have recommended against them, see no value in doing this or that Motion, etc. etc. etc. It is your life, and not theirs. This is just too much work for them.

    As these Motions are submitted, the Court is either going to wake up or give in.
    Remember, both the Prosecutor and the Court as well have to write their
    responses and that is additional work. They will make case law mistakes that
    will work to your benefit during the Appeal Process.

    If you
    really feel that you were ENTRAPPED by the Undercover Agents assigned to this
    ICAC Task Force, then don’t throw in the towel but rather, defend yourself and
    use the legal system to the fullest extent. Force our PD or PDA to write, file,
    and argue your Motions and make the Prosecutor and Judges have to research and provide justifiable response and decisions.

    Please read this document below on Accardi Doctrine/Principle and give to your PD/PDAs to use in the submission of MTD for Violations of the DoJ ICAC Operational and Investigative Standards and the Task Force’s Operational Plan. Submit a Motion to Compel the Operational Plan and do, with your PD/PDA the work to identify the violations that entrapped you and ensure that these are strongly, individually, addressed in your MTD or Motion to Suppress the chats and investigation documents.

    There is a lot of case law in this document that addresses cases won due to the Accardi Doctrine/Principle.

    http://www.hastingslawjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Mason_62-HLJ-559.pdf

    Have them attach this document to your Motions.

    Take your case all the way to jury selection and even trial if the Plea that you are
    willing to live with is not offered.

    By submitting all of these Motions and having them denied by the Court, you have the right to then Appeal to a higher court. Force the legal system to work for
    you, not against you. Law Enforcement ENTRAPPED you and they know it and so do the Courts but don’t have the guts to do what is legally right.

  4. Krissy

    ok I have a question actually. my fiancé is being held without proof of sexualy molesting my 9 year old daughter. all tests including sex have came back negative. all there is is what she told to kids harbor which was answering leading questions an the ONLY similarity is that he told her to go back to bed when he would wake up in the middle of the night and she and my son or just her at that time had snuk into our room and was watching tv. My question is I guess how would we know if the questions he was asked was entrapping?

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