Updated:BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Friday 11 suspects accused of traveling to meet a minor for sexual relations were arrested during an undercover operation.
Authorities said the suspects, who range in age from 24-69, traveled from as far away as Miami to engage in a sexual relationship with the intention of having sex with what they thought was a 14-year-old boy or girl.
"Unfortunately, what they found was a bunch of our people waiting to take them into custody and put them in jail," said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
Investigators said many of the suspects arrived with items ranging from beer and candy bars to sex toys.
One of the suspects, 42-year-old Todd Kroeber, of Port St. Lucie, is already a registered sex offender on federal probation for child
pornography charges. Deputies said he brought a 17-year-old boy for the purpose of having that minor engage in sex with a child.
"From what we can tell early in this investigation he was using a 17-year-old to come and have sex with him," said Ivey.
As a result of the investigation, three minor victims were identified and rescued from further sexual exploitation, authorities said.
"When you consider all we do to protect our children and then you have these individuals out there to prey on children, that's frightening to us," said Ivey.
Kroeber's case has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Below is a list of suspects charged in connection with the sting:
- Melvin Adams
- Justin Arbuckle
- Dexxter Bennett
- Christopher Bryant
- Christopher Case
- Ernesto Corcho
- Mackendjo Etienne
- Todd Kroeber
- Maxwell Loomis
- Andrew Reed
- Anthony Detrano