Operation Endgame: 26 men arrested, suspected of preying on children, Jacksonville sheriff says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than two dozen men are facing charges of child solicitation and child pornography in Jacksonville.

It took a massive investigation to get them off the streets.

The 26 men arrested in Jacksonville are between the ages of 21 to 59, and police said some are from South Florida, Georgia and Texas.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office launched the “Operation Endgame” mission last summer to find suspects who were using electronics to meet with young children.

It was a multi-agency effort that included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), as well as the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, JSO Sheriff Mike Williams said officers posed as children online and got the suspects to meet up with them. That’s when the arrests were made.

JSO said the men now face a combination of second-and-third-degree felonies and each face decades in prison.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The mugshot of Thomas Crow, a former firefighter for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, is exempt from public disclosure per public statute 119.071.)

Experts shared with Action News Jax the ways parents can better protect their children when they are online.

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Parents can review games and apps and social media sites before they are downloaded, teach their kids to spot red flags and to avoid sharing personal info or photos, and keep electronic devices in open, common areas where parents can better supervise their children.

See the below video for more information: