Major Phoenix Child Pornography Sting Yields Two Suspects

October 8, 2014 by David S. Seltzer

If you're currently under investigation for cybercrime-related charges in Florida, you may or may not be familiar with cybercrime sting operations in your city or state.

Authorities design sting initiatives to identify and apprehend individuals who participate in illegal activities online. In Phoenix, Arizona, a joint effort between the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Internet Crimes against Children Task Force recently arrested two men on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Early on September 11, detectives apprehended Andres Pena, a 33-year-old who allegedly possessed multiple videos and images of child pornography. Later that day, they took another man, David Ray, into custody after examining his work and personal computers.

Both Ray and Pena currently face 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

How Florida Cybercrime Sting Operations Work

In the state of Florida, authorities often employ sting operations to catch individuals engaged in unlawful activities online. These efforts include several components:

• Collaboration. The combined resources of local, county, and state police – as well as national organizations, such as the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force – provide high-tech capabilities and staffing to find potential internet criminals.

• Posting ads. Law enforcement officers posing as underage children – or adults offering the services of children – engage with suspects on dating sites and other forums.

• Arranging meet-ups. Undercover officers attempt to meet suspects at predetermined locations, where authorities can arrest the individuals.

Cybercrime sting operations do not always abide by the law, and the evidence collected may not be admissible in court. For instance, authorities sometimes abuse their power; defendants victimized by such efforts can decry this “entrapment” and use evidence of the abuse to win back their freedom. Although these investigatory efforts undoubtedly help police bring legitimate criminals to justice, they may also result in false accusations.

Do you believe you have been unfairly targeted by a cybercrime sting operation? The qualified Florida cybercrime attorneys at Seltzer Law, P.A. can help. Call us today at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) to schedule your free consultation and take your first step towards protecting your rights.