News


Internet predators arrested as part of multi-agency “Operation Travelin’ Man”

11/1/2007
 
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in partnership with local, state and federal agencies, recently arrested four men as part of an undercover operation created to arrest Internet predators who target children for sex. Dozens more remain under active investigation.


The multi-agency initiative, dubbed “Operation Travelin’ Man”, began in early October after organizers from participating agencies put together a plan for identifying internet predators who infiltrate chat rooms for the purpose of targeting underage children or meeting “dirty parents”, adults willing to allow predators to engage in sex with their underage children.

"The investigators from each agency involved in Travelin' Man did an excellent job," said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. "Dirty parents and predators should note these agents and officers are vigilant and committed."

Agencies involved in Operation Travelin’ Man include FDLE's Tallahassee Regional Operations Center and Computer Crime Center, the Florida Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Service, State Attorney’s Office (2nd Judicial Circuit) and the Florida Highway Patrol.

“Every time agencies exhibit this type of cooperative approach to combat Internet child predators, more exhaustive resources are available to target this deplorable crime,” said Attorney General Bill McCollum. “Cybercrime knows no geographical boundaries, therefore we must work together to more effectively protect our children from this devastating form of sexual exploitation.”

The operation utilized agents and investigative personnel trained within Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) guidelines to chat online with suspected predators. Posing undercover as underage children or parents with underage children, law enforcement officials arranged to meet with four subjects, all of whom were soliciting sex with children.

Four individuals were arrested during the first week of the operation when they traveled to the designated meeting place. Two of them traveled to Tallahassee from Orlando and Rutledge, Georgia; one was a Tallahassee resident. The fourth man was arrested in Tennessee by FBI agents working in cooperation with the operation.

“Our greatest duty and honor lies in the protection of our children,” said Gregory Miller, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. “Operation Travelin' Man exemplifies law enforcement's commitment to the protection of what we hold most precious.”

Arrested during the initial phase of the operation were:

Mohammed Ali Liton, 26, Orlando
Jonathan David Duke: 45, Rutledge, Georgia
Charles S. Faris, III, 54, Tallahassee
Bobby Albert McGee, 62, Linden, Tennessee

All were held under federal detention and are facing federal charges of using an interstate facility (the Internet) to coerce and entice a person under 18 to engage in illicit sexual conduct. If convicted, each could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, as well as fines up to $250,000. Additionally, Jonathan Duke is charged with interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Investigations into other solicitations are continuing and more arrests are anticipated.

For more information, contact:
Sandi Copes
Press Secretary, Office of the Attorney General
(850) 245-0150
Sandi.Copes@myfloridalegal.com

Michael Morrison
Public Information Officer
FDLE - Tallahassee
(850) 410-8258