VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL. (WRIC) — Two Virginia men were among 14 men arrested during a child sex sting in Volusia County, Florida.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook Page, Timothy Carl Tate, 40, of Bumpass, Virginia and Anthony Onesi, 48, of Lovettsville, Virginia were amongst the 14 people arrested yesterday in a child predator sting operation in Florida.
According to the social media post, all the men arrested exchanged sexually explicit messages with undercover officers pretending to be underaged youth 14-years-old or younger before travelling to meet up with them in person.
The post said that suspects used social media to email and text undercover officers to arrange sexual encounters. The post said that some of the suspects brought drugs and condoms, and all expressed a clear desire to have sex with the fabricated youth.
“Our main goal is to protect the children and let these people know: We are there, we will go after them, and if they stick their heads up, we’re going to let the world know who they are,” Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said in a Monday afternoon news conference announcing the arrests.
The defendants, including Tate and Onesi, are all charged with attempted lewd or lascivious battery, using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure/entice a child, traveling to meet a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.
“These people are predators,” Sheriff Johnson said of people who use the Internet have sexual encounters with children. “They know how to talk to children. They can take a good child and turn them bad, put them on the wrong side. When you leave home to meet someone like that, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know if they’re going to go willingly … become a victim of sexual abuse, or worst-case scenario, never come home. Parents have to get involved. They have to start watching.”
According to the post, Tate is self-employed in Bumpass, while Onesi works as a contractor for NASA.
Here’s Volusia County’s Facebook Post:
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