Sheriff’s Office sting targets suspects soliciting minors online for sex

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Seven area men were arrested in a sting that targeted suspects who solicited minors for sex,

From Jan. 9-12, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit conducted Operation Hindsight 2020.

The sting was conducted in order to target online offenders who utilize Internet and technology in order to participate in sexual activity with individuals whom they believe to be minors.

In all, 15 suspects were arrested during Operation Hindsight 2020.

Those arrested and charged locally were:

• Juan Bermudez-Quiroga, 22, of Kissimmee – traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child.

• Michael Passos, 23, of Kissimmee – traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child.

• Michael Ruiz, 4, of Kissimmee – traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child, transmission of harmful material to a child.

• Patrick Young, 36, of St. Cloud – traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child, transmission of harmful material to a child.

•Ryan Garcia Peterson, 21, of Kissimmee – traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child.

• Gene Welez, 66, of Kissimmee –  transmission of harmful material to a child.

•Luis Beltran-Usman, 32, of Kissimmee: traveling to meet a minor for sex and unauthorized use of a computer service to solicit a child, transmission of harmful material to a child.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was the lead agency for the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is made up of 60 local, state and federal agencies in Central Florida. The following agencies assisted during Operation Hindsight 2020 Tampa Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Office, St. Petersburg Police Department, Highlands County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Maw Enforcement-Orlando, Kissimmee Police Department, Altamonte Springs Police Department, Oviedo Police Department, Orlando Police Department, North Port Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff ’s Office.

The Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is committed to keeping our children safe Anyone with information concerning the abuse, neglect or exploitation of a child, or any online criminal activity should call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477, where information leading to a felony arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000