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Expat wanderer

Operation Blue Shepherd

I was shocked to hear about this operation on National Public Radio this afternoon, and to know it was Pensacola. What got my attention was one of the police officers saying that they were shocked to capture so many local people; they had expected to attract predators from surrounding states, but not so many locals. Truly sad.

And kudos to all the men in blue and officers of the court who are putting away these people who would prey on children, taking them off the game board.

You can read the entire article yourself at the Pensacola News Journal:

25 men accused of setting up child sex encounters in Pensacola sting

Twenty-five men were arrested this month in Pensacola during a weeklong undercover operation in which suspects are accused of using the Internet to set up sexual encounters with children. The suspects came to meet the minors at a home in northeast Pensacola only to find a slew of law enforcement officials waiting for them.

The sting, called Operation Blue Shepherd, began June 20 with 30 officers from local, state and federal agencies participating, according to a Pensacola Police Department press release. The results were announced at a news conference this morning at PPD.

Pensacola Police Capt. Paul Kelly said officers used various social networking and E-commerce sites to respond to advertisements of a sexual nature and to place similar advertisements.

The suspects specifically described various sexual acts they were going to do with the male and female children, ages 12 to 14, with whom they believed they were talking. All of the suspects, except one who took a taxi, drove to the undercover house with the intent to perform these sexual acts with the children. Upon arrival, they were arrested and questioned.

Kelly said officers were surprised to find so many eager participants from the immediate Pensacola area.

“We expected to have more violators traveling from outside the area. What this tells me is that these violators do not have to travel far to find their victims. They are much closer to home than we imagined. Most of them were not reluctant or frightened to approach the door of a stranger’s house. They literally pulled up to the house and walked quickly to the door eager to meet the child,” Kelly said.

Agencies participating in Operation Blue Shepherd were the State Attorney’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement , Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department, Fort Walton Beach Police Department, Tallahassee Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Crime, Detective/Mystery, Florida, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Social Issues | 61 Comments