GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The Clay County Sheriff's Office announced the arrests of 17 people in an undercover operation targeting Internet crimes against children.
It's all part of Operation Wrong Destination. Investigators said the suspects traveled to meet what they thought would be a child for sex.
Those arrested include a truck driver, a pharmacy clerk, pizza workers, game store clerk and members of the military between the ages of 20 and 53. Investigators say there could be more arrests.
The suspects are:
- Kenneth W. Sprague III, 26, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
- Vladimir Garrievich Mirzoyev, 25, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Victor A. Morales, 26, Fort Stewart, Ga.
- Brad D. Lang, 30, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Andrew S. Johnston, 23, Orange Park, Fla.
- Vincent G. Ricci, 20, Fort Stewart, Ga.
- Danny E. Vargas, 28, Gainesville, Fla.
- Charles Ressler, 35, Lancaster, Pa.
- John H. Perritt, 20, Fleming Island, Fla.
- Isaiah Salowitz, 29, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Matthew A. Pike, 27, Jemison, Ala.
- Clyde Littleman Jr., 31, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Jared P. Snow, 22, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Jamie Crowther, 24, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Michael B. Sculley, 24, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Steven Pinkham, 53, Middleburg, Fla.
- Danny Bongao Pasicolan Jr., 31, Middleburg, Fla.
The men face one felony count of traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sex and one felony count of using a two-way communcation device to facilitate the commission of a felony. Pasicolan faces an additional count of transmission of material harmful to minors.
Investigators said offenders are using e-commerce and social networking sites and mobile apps to target their victims, platforms that are hard to monitor due to their multiple access points.
Authorities also say conversations that begin on these platforms tend to lead to the exchange of child pornography, sent by an offender to a victim who they believe is a child.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office said statistics show offenders who possess child pornography are more likely to have had a dozen victims before being captured in a sting operation.
The investigation took five days and involved multiple agencies including the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Gainesville Police, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.