Recent efforts to track down and arrest people accused of sexual misconduct proved to be fruitful as 22 people were arrested in yet another enforcement sting operation. More than 16 law enforcement agencies teamed up to carry out an undercover operation involving the use of agents engaging in online exchanges.
Agents posed as minors and communicated with dozens of people online. For at least 22 people, these conversations turned into an opportunity to meet in person. When the 21 men and one woman showed up to meet the person they thought they were talking to, they instead were met with law enforcement agents and an arrest for attempted sexual misconduct involving a minor.
These operations are not uncommon. In fact, it can seem almost routine to hear about these extensive efforts. However, the people who are arrested in these stings are typically not familiar with the process and can be extremely scared, ashamed and overwhelmed. If you are in this situation, it can be natural to want police to see your side and to explain yourself, but the fact is that understanding your story and the impact the arrest will have on your life is not a priority for enforcement agents.
Undercover efforts to catch people engaging in unlawful behaviors can be quite substantial, especially when those behaviors involve minors. There can be several law enforcement agencies involved, not to mention the resources and time put into developing and carrying out elaborate operations.
Because of all that goes into these stings, agencies want to do whatever they can to ensure success. This typically means arresting as many people as possible. In these situations, enforcement agents can be more concerned with increasing their numbers than they are with the rights and treatment of people they arrest. This is why it can be crucial for people arrested in these stings to remember that they may benefit greatly from speaking with an attorney.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle, "22 arrested in online child sex sting," Bianca Cain Johnson, May 18, 2015