SARASOTA, Fla.- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 30 people in Operation Intercept II, the second such sting to protect Sarasota County’s children from online predators.
The suspects responded to Internet-based ads or social media posts and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations, ultimately traveling to a location in Sarasota County with the intent to have sex with a child or children. When the suspects arrived detectives placed them under arrest.
Robert Blackburn, of 1751 Payne Lane N. in Fort Myers, was among them. he was charged with using of computer to solicit a child to commit sex act and traveling to solicit a child to commit sex acts.
Ralph Eachus of Port Charlotte was also among those arrested.
In one case, the predator met what he thought was a child on a GPS-based online dating platform that tells people who is in your area and allows you to chat with them and send photos. In another, the suspect posted an ad on a web site known for prostitution and wanted only young girls. He thought he met a 14-year-old girl recently placed with new Foster parents and planned to pay her $60 for her services.
Click here to view their mugshots.