A Kissimmee man was arrested in a law enforcement sting that targeted suspects online who were allegedly preying on children.
One of the 13 men arrested was 28-year-old Christian Labarca Morles of Kissimmee.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office undercover detectives conducted a six-day undercover “traveler” operation from Oct. 2-7. Detectives posed as girls and boys on social media platforms and online dating sites to investigate those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity.
The suspects communicated with and solicited who they thought were children between the ages of 13 and 14 for sex acts. They all showed up to a location in Polk County at separate times to meet who they thought were children, but instead were arrested by detectives.
On Oct. 3, Morles engaged in a conversation with an undercover detective posing as a 13-year old girl he met on an online dating site.
According to a Polk Sheriff’s Office report, upon initiating the conversation, Morles asked, “How many dudes are you inviting over for sex?” and asked if the female was a virgin and if she wanted to have sex.
When the undercover detective reminded him she was only 13, he said, “I think I’m gonna regret this,” the report stated.
Morles traveled to the undercover location where he was arrested without incident. He also brought condoms to the location. Morles was in the country on a work visa from Venezuela. He told deputies he is a delivery driver for Amazon.
“These predators are out there, trying to sexually seduce and violate children. They lurk in chat rooms and online, ready to groom children for sex,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. “Fortunately, because of the great work of our detectives, at least 13 of them won’t be doing that any time soon. The things that these predators say to children they believe are 13 and 14 are vile and disgusting. Even seasoned, trained detectives are repulsed. The bottom line is that these predators need to be locked up and kept away from children.”
The 13 arrested face a total of 58 charges (57 felonies, 1 misdemeanor) which include: attempted lewd lascivious molestation, using a communication device to commit a felony, attempted uninformed HIV infected sexual intercourse, traveling to meet a minor for the purposes of sex, attempted lewd battery and transmitting material harmful to a minor.