JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Operation Watch Dog was an undercover sting that yielded 21 arrests in Jacksonville, of adults aged 21-60 years old who believed they were meeting a boy or girl, aged 13-14, for sex.
The operation began on May 3 and ended on May 8, with 18 initial arrests and since, three more arrests have been made during follow up investigation.
One Associate Teacher from Palencia Elementary School, Kyle Parmenter, 24, was arrested in the sting. According to Palencia Elementary he worked with 3rd graders. The school said they chose not to notify parents because of the ongoing operation. He has been suspended without pay. At this time, parents have still not been notified.
According to his arrest report, Parmenter tried to solicit nude photos from what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. He confirmed her age several times and he turned the conversation into a sexual direction, according to the report.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, all arrests were made in Jacksonville and the suspects ranged in age from 21-61 years old. Each suspect believed they were meeting either a girl or boy from ages 13-14, but when they arrived a pre-determined meet up spot, they were arrests.
However, suspects came from as far away as Snellville, Georgia and Silver Springs, Florida. Some of the suspects had no records, however one man, Jerry Ruiz, was a sexual offender, and some of the suspects had prior records for violent crimes.
PHOTOS: 21 arrested for attempting to solicit children for sex
This operation was aimed at finding suspects using the internet and electronic devices to solicit underage children for sexual activities. The follow up investigation is still ongoing.
Our children are safer today with these 21 predators off our streets!! Thanks to our LE partners who made this op a success! pic.twitter.com/AeLb0OnWRJ— Mike Williams (@jsosheriff) May 15, 2017