Sarasota Co. child protection operation busts FGCU student, Port Charlotte man

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23 people during Operation Intercept VII—a four-day initiative on protecting Sarasota County children from online predators and human trafficking.

Among the group of suspects, ranging in age from 21 to 77 years old, is an FGCU student and a Port Charlotte man.

The suspects responded to internet-based ads, online apps and social media sites to engage in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations.

Several men brought condoms; one brought candy and another brought a sex toy.

Ultimately all 23 arrestees traveled with the intent of having sex with a male or female child.

Hamaz Hafeez, 21, an FGCU student, faces charges for Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts and Attempted Lewd or Lascivious Battery.

Dwight Harris, 29, of Port Charlotte, faces charges for Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit a Sex Act, Travelling to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Attempted Lewd or Lascivious Battery and Transmission of Harmful Material.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Briana Harvath
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