LAKEWOOD, OH – Two Lakewood men were taken into custody as part of a four day law enforcement operation called “Deja Vu”.
Police and federal agents have been undercover to identify and arrest people who attempt to engage in sex with children. The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force led the operation, which ran May 19-22.
“The success of our operations has shown that these predators will stop at nothing to take advantage of the most vulnerable people in our community – our children,” said Cuyahoga County Attorney Michael O’Malley. “We will pursue them further and bring them to justice.”
During a news conference earlier this week, O’Malley announced that 31 Northeast Ohioans were detained during Operation Deja Vu. The defendants are between 20 and 80 years old. Each defendant had sexually explicit online conversations with undercover officers posing as children, O’Malley said.
The 31 suspects could be charged with attempted illegal sexual behavior involving a minor matter harmful to juveniles, proliferation, coercive prostitution, hidden weapon carrying, non-compliance and possession of criminal instruments. Each case will be submitted to a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.
Suspects have been identified on popular social media apps. Some of the defendants sent pictures of their genitals and offered to pay for sex when talking to undercover agents, O’Malley said.
After talking to undercover officers, the suspects were told to meet in an empty house in Cuyahoga County. When the suspects arrived, they were taken into custody by police, O’Malley said.
All suspects were taken to Cuyahoga County Prison. Some of the suspects had condoms, personal lubricant, guns, bullets, codeine tablets, bottles of champagne, cash and other items, O’Malley said.
Patch will release more information about the suspects when they are officially charged.
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Child Sex Sting: 2 Lakewood men in custody, prosecutors say
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