Operation Spiderweb Nets
4 from Lehigh Acres
Officials we spoke with explained the multi-agency operation ran from October 22nd to 28th.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott explained some men were looking for little girls; others were looking for little boys.
“It’s really sickening. I’d like to take this opportunity to urge parents – I’m a parent myself – to urge parents to love your kids because if you don’t someone else will,” Scott said.
Undercover agents targeted the men on various websites. And deputies say when the suspects showed up to meet the kids in person, they arrested them.
Investigators say Operation SPIDERWEB took five months of preparation and used a Lee County home as the location where the arrests took place.
Officials we spoke with say some of the people arrested showed up to that home with illegal narcotics and were charged for those offenses as well.
At least one subject was determined to be in the U.S. illegally and two others were being reviewed by ICE.
“Those trying to prey on our children are served notice today that we will not tolerate this illegal activity,” said Sheriff Scott. “We cannot be idle in this task. Parents, I urge you to recognize the threat exists and be sure you have lines of communication open with your children and monitor their social networking activity.”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sex Crimes Unit along with the FBI Innocent Images Task Force, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Attorney’s Office of 20th Judicial Circuit and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security participated in the sting.