Seven men arrested for arranging to meet underage girls — actually undercover detectives — for sex.

Richard D. Newell of St. Augustine drove 2 and a half hours to get arrested, then resisted arrested with violence.

BARTOW – Seven men from across Central Florida engaged in sexually explicit online chats, text messages and telephone calls with girls and boys ages 10 to 14, only to discover that when they went to meet with them, the kids were actually detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office taking part in an online sting, the sheriff noted.
“A number of those who chatted illegally online did not agree to come to the designated location, saying Polk County was too much of a risk,” said Sheriff Grady Judd today.  “It appears our undercover investigations are deterring some from trying to have sex with children.”
Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes unit posed as children, and attracted the interest and attention of seven men, including two from Lakeland, and one each from Lake Wales, Kissimmee, Perry, Casselberry and St. Augustine.
When they showed up to meet the young boys or girls, they were arrested and charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex.
“Predators continue to freely discuss sex with children online, and these conversations are graphic,” Judd said.  “We need parents to monitor their children’s online activity continuously as the first line of defense.”
Donna C. Wood, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, noted in her release on the arrests that “The men responded to Internet-based scenarios where they thought they were travelling to meet male and female children between the ages of 10-14 to engage in sexual activity.  The suspects engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations with undercover detectives in emails, online chats, text messages, and telephone calls.  During the conversations, the suspects agreed to come to a location in Polk County with the intention of having sex with a child. When the suspects arrived, they were placed under arrest.“

Michael C. Quinones of Lakeland purchased condoms before he arrived to get arrested.

The men who got arrested include Nathan Williams, 38, of 616 W. Remington Road, Lakeland, who got charged with traveling to meet a minor, unlawful use of two way communications, unlawful use of a computer service to entice a legal guardian or custodian, and fleeing/eluding law enforcement.  The arrest report says Williams responded to undercover deputies working online, telling them he wanted to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.  Conversations took place by email, text, and telephone.
Brian Burling, 30, of 2683 Hawthorne Lane, Kissimmee, was charged with traveling to meet a minor, unlawful use of two way communications, and unlawful use of a computer service to entice a legal guardian or custodian. Burling made contact with a Polk County Sheriff’s Office undercover detective, the arrest report notes, through email, asking what he believed was a 10-year-old girl to have sex. Burling went to the location in a white taxi van and was arrested as soon as he got there.
Steven Anthony Mullin, 32, of 3990 Green Farm Road, Perry, was also charged with traveling to meet a minor, unlawful use of two way communications, and unlawful use of a computer service to entice a legal guardian or custodian.  Mullin contacted the undercover detective through email and the telephone, the arrest report notes — a conversation he thought was with a 13-year-old girl.
Richard W. Hamilton, 30, of 716 Suncrest Loop, Apartment 104, Casselberry, was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex and unlawful use of two way communications.  The arrest report claims Hamilton contacted an undercover detective through a text message and engaged in an online chat with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, asking questions of a “sexual nature.”

Richard W. Hamilton of Casselberry asked an undercover detective questions of a "sexual nature," thinking she was a 13-year-old girl, the arrest report notes.

Michael C. Quinones, 23, of 4794 Williamstown Boulevard, Lakeland, was charged with traveling to meet a minor, unlawful use of two way communications, and unlawful use of a computer service to entice a legal guardian or custodian. An undercover detective got contacted by Quinones through email exchanges, and the suspect indicated he wanted to engage in sex with a 13-year-old girl. “Prior to arriving at the designated location, he purchased condoms,” the arrest report notes.
Richard D. Newell, 35, of 2088 Old Tyme Ave., St. Augustine, faces charges of traveling to meet a minor for sex, resisting arrest with violence, four counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, unlawful use of two way communications, and use of a computer to solicit a child.  Newell contacted an undercover detective in an on-line chat, with the detective posing as a 13-year-old girl. “The suspect then agreed to travel 2.5 hours from St. Augustine to the location,” the arrest report notes.  “Upon arrival, detectives attempted to arrest the suspect. The suspect fled on foot and a short foot chase ensued.  The suspect was caught after running approximately 40 yards and violently resisted deputies.”
Demetri Moraetes, 50, of 1040 Sunset Drive, Lake Wales, was charged with traveling to meet a minor, unlawful use of two way communications, and unlawful use of a computer service to entice a legal guardian or custodian.  This suspect responded to undercover detectives on-line to engage in sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.  He also called the detective and talked about having sex with the 13-year-old.

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