Ever since the Feds shut down Craigslist Casual Encounters and Backpage.com, undercover ICAC detectives have been struggling to create arrests. In past years, the ICAC task forces routinely used Craigslist as there number one way of entrapping unsuspecting men with their bait and switch Internet Sex Stings. This has dramatically reduced the number of arrests nationwide and particularly here in Florida. They have not run one of the normal stings here in Sarasota in quite a while.
Arrest numbers are down in internet stings and you can expect law enforcement to dream up some new way to entice unsuspecting men into compromising situations.
The other Social Media sites are now being targeted. The number one site they are using is Meetme.com. Did you ever read the “Rules of Use” for Meetme.com? You are supposed to be over 18 to be on this site. The undercover detectives are now posting profiles that are in direct violation of the rules of use. They post age regressed photographs of attractive young women, sometimes scantily clad with suggestive catch phrases. When a man responds they do the “switch” and say something like “I am only 15”. If anyone on Meetme.com ever says they are under the age of 18, you can bet, they are an undercover cop. The best way to not get arrested is to not commit a crime. Never chat with anyone that says they are a minor. Never, no never, send a sexually explicit photograph to anyone under 18.
As a sex crime lawyer, I have handled over 40 Internet Sex Sting cases all over Florida. The police are supposed to be targeting men who target children. Sadly, it is law enforcement that is targeting innocent lonely men. The police are the ones doing the luring, seducing and enticing. Here in Sarasota and Manatee County the statistics are way down and I remind everyone, never chat with anyone unless you are positive they are an adult. Do not get talked into chatting with a minor. Do not do it!
Police are also targeting the remaining escort sites, particularly in Polk County and in the Orlando and Daytona area. Normally it is only a misdemeanor to try to hook up with a prostitute. However, if the undercover prostitute claims she is 14, 15 or 16 years old, terminate all contact. They don’t call it jail bait for nothing.
If you have questions about the sex sting tactics or want to talk or ad input from a personal experience, feel free to call at 941 366 3506
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