The Perils of an Undercover Sex Sting – Inside Florida’s “Operation Wrong Destination”

December 31, 2014 by David S. Seltzer

Fifteen men are headed to state prison in Raiford after being convicted of various Florida sex crimes thanks to Operation Wrong Destination, according to JacksonvilleNews.com. Operation Wrong Destination, a five-day undercover sting, took place in Green Grove Springs and allegedly uncovered that these men had been “traveling to meet a minor to do unlawful acts.” Prosecutors convicted the men of soliciting a child for sex acts and “unlawful use of a two-way communications device.”

Undercover detectives posed as children and advertised on Craigslist, asking to arrange meetings for sex acts. The fifteen men involved, one of whom was sentenced as a “youthful offender,” now face sentences ranging from “community control” to ten years in prison.

Many people charged with sex crimes stand falsely accused; these people may still have time to fight their charges. While our Miami cybercrime lawyers in no way condone the illegal use of pornography or solicitation, we want to protect people from false accusations, which can often occur in cases where the majority of evidence comes from undercover stings. Consider these facts about the dangers of undercover stings.

Stings May Not Provide Concrete Evidence

Evidence found in a sting may not be concrete enough to rightfully convict someone. This is particularly true in cybercrime cases, which hinge on deciphering and proving essential data regarding the downloading, watching, storing and sharing of electronic media.

By Their Nature, Stings are Setups

Undercover stings are set up to prove suspects are guilty. In many cases, the individuals caught in the dragnet are guilty of breaking the law, but sometimes a sting can backfire on an innocent person. Investigators can ask questions in ways that lead suspects to accidentally self-incriminate; they can also violate ethical rules (and even the law itself) to net arrests to meet quotas.

Stings Can Be Overly (and Even Illegally) Invasive

An innocent person can often defend against undercover sting related charges by citing privacy violations. If detectives violated search rules, unlawfully seized property or acted in a way that strayed from department protocol, you can challenge the case and get the charges dropped.

To protect your name, your freedom and your reputation, get in touch with a qualified Florida cybercrime defense attorney at Seltzer Law, P.A. immediately at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) for a free and confidential consultation.