TPD Arrests 20 In Child Sex Sting [SLIDE SHOW OF MUGS]

UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
April 19, 2013

An internet sex sting in Tallahassee nets 20 arrests in 5 days.

All the men are accused of soliciting minors for sex and police say one man traveled nearly 200 miles to try to make it happen

"These are 20 invdividuals that will not be able to do any harm to any of our children here," Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones said.

20 men are accused of soliciting children for sex on line. Police say 14 of those men showed up in person including 41 year old David Hicks.

Police say he drove three hours from Andulusia, Alabama to Tallahassee expecting to have sex with a 14 year old boy. He wound up behind bars instead.

"Their inent - as they have declared and that's simply in their words whether it's written or spoken - is to commit a sexual act with someone who's 14, 13 or 12," said the North Florida ICAC Task Force Commander John Madsen.

Most of the men arrested are from Tallahassee.

Among them: Eric Hurst, an attorney with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and Christopher Harris a reserve deputy with the leon county sheriff's office.

Both men have already been fired.

"We actually took custody of Mr. Harris and transported him to his residence where we collected all the property that was issued to him by the Leon County Sheriff's Office and issued him an official termination notice," LCSO Maj Mike Wood said.

The on line chats themselves are too graphic to share.

Arrest reports show none of the men stopped chatting when they discovered the teens were 12, 13 and 14 years old.

One said "It ain't no problem."

Another said "I'm cool with it" and yet another said "I'll pretend I didn't hear that."

Tallahassee Police and Leon County Sheriff's Office worked together on the sting along with other state and federal officers.

Here is a list of the men arrested during Operation April Fools:

Justin Bates, Pavo, GA

Samuel Bowers, Valdosta, GA

Brandon Cooper, Bainbridge, GA

Kevin Dawkins, Tallahassee, FL

Christopher Harris, Tallahassee, FL

Jose Galdamez, Tallahassee, FL

Derek Hebenthal, Tallahassee, FL

David Hicks, Andalusia, AL

Markari Hines, Tallahassee, FL

Eric Hurst, Tallahassee, FL

McKinnon Langston, Tallahassee, FL

Jamal Manuel, Tallahassee, FL

Eric McKelvey, Tallahassee, FL

Cody Rosson, Tallahassee, FL

Hazael Santiago Morales, Destin, FL

Brandon Warren, Tallahassee, FL

Nicholas White, Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee Police say there may be more arrests to come in the days ahead.

By: Julie Montanaro
April 19, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - 20 men were arrested in just five days. Most are from Tallahassee, one is from Pavo, one is from Valdosta and police say one drove all the way from Andalusia, Alabama.

Tallahassee Police and the Leon County Sheriffs Office worked together on the sting.

They posed as 12, 13 and 14 year olds on line.

All of the men are accused of having sexually explicit conversations with the teens and 14 of them actually showed up at a house to meet the minors for sex only to discover officers answered their knock at the door.

One of the men arrested in the sting was a reserve deputy with the Leon County Sheriffs Office. They say Christopher Harris was fired the night of his arrest. They say he had worked there for a year but had to work under the supervision of a sworn deputy and was never alone with children.

By: Julie Montanaro
April 19, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Tallahassee Police have arrested 20 men in an internet child sex sting. The men are accused of soliciting children for sex on line. 16 of them are accused of traveling to meet the "children" for sex.

The men were arrested in a week long sting called 'April Fools'.

Samuel Bowers

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