Child sex predators busted in Polk County

8:49 AM, May 11, 2011   |    comments
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Winter Haven, Florida -- Twenty-two men are the latest to be rounded up in an Internet child predator sting conducted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Central Florida Crimes Against Children Task Force.

"I call them disgusting perverts," said Sheriff Grady Judd of the 22 men who now face a variety of charges, including traveling to meet a minor for sex and using a computer to seduce a child.

"They're willing to chat on line, talk on the phone, to drive to, walk up and walk into your house while they think you're away or sometimes they may think you're there, to have sex with your children," the angry sheriff said.

Photo Gallery: Booking photos of the suspects

The suspects thought they were going to meet and have sex with a young girl between the ages of 9 and 14, according to the sheriff's office. 

Undercover deputies spent 21 days on the investigation they dubbed 'Operation Last House Call'.  The deputies posted fake ads on sites like Craigslist, posing as parents looking for a  man to teach their young daughter how to have sex in a "coming of age ceremony".

While the ads in this investigation were fake, Sheriff Judd says real ads just like them actually exist.

"We say this every time, but it seems like, we seem to create a list of some that are even nastier and more deviant than the investigations we did before," Sheriff Judd pointed out. "They presented tulips, candy and condoms, whips and masks, sex toys, all were to entice or to use while they had sex with children as young as 9 years old."

Trying to prove a point, the Sheriff slapped the whip against the podium when he talked about suspect Grammatas Grammatas, "He was going to whip an 11 year old girl while he had sex with her, but that's not enough, he also brought what I think is a pretty scary mask."

He held up a box which contains a fetish, bondage mask.

"This should give you pause to understand just how vile, how strange, how dangerous these folks can be," said Sheriff Judd.

The men come from across the state and include those with criminal backgrounds, white and blue collar workers, a member of the National Guard, a registered sex offender and a government contractor with Top Secret clearance.

The sting has been dubbed "Operation Last House Call."

Eight of the 22 suspects are accused of chatting online with undercover detectives posing as children via AOL instant messenger.

Fourteen of the men are accused of answering online ads, expressing an interest in"responding to the house to engage in sexual acts with young girls, some of them saying they were willing to teach the children how to have sex,"  according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. 

The charges range from traveling to meet a minor to have sex, use of a computer to seduce a child, unlawful use of two way communication and attempted sexual battery on a child.

"I don't want the predators to think we're slowing down.  We've already reloaded," warned Sheriff Judd. "For those of you that think you've got it figured out,  you only saw what we did last time."s

The men arrested include:

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