Brevard deputies track down man accused in international sex tourism operation

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A man is in jail Friday night after Brevard County sheriff's deputies helped arrest him following a months-long sex investigation.

Patrick Minga is accused of posting sex ads on Craigslist to lure Americans to Ecuador and Columbia, where they could participate in sex with teenage girls.

According to investigators, Minga told them he has been doing it for years.

In paperwork obtained by Channel 9's Ryan Hughes, Minga said has had years of experience in the sex tourism industry.

Minga is originally from southwest Florida and was arrested Friday in Alabama. He will be brought to federal court in Orlando to face a judge.

"Any time we deal with anybody who wants to sexually exploit children it's disgusting to us," said Maj. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said a Brevard County computer crimes investigator was surfing Craigslist and came across an ad allegedly posted by Minga.

According to the complaint the ad said, "We have the best females from Colombia and Ecuador. Lodging, food and unlimited females for $1,395 for seven days."

Investigators said that last year an undercover investigator and Minga emailed and talked on the phone for weeks to make arrangements to meet girls as young as 13.

The investigator wired a down payment for the trip, but before the the trip was made Minga flew to visit relatives in Alabama, where they arrested him, investigators said.

"The ultimate result is what happened today: arresting a person, taking him off the street," said Goodyear.

Goodyear said Minga's arrest could lead to more investigations.

"We were able to recover some evidence at the time of the arrest that we hope is going to lead us to other people and give us a better idea of what the operations is -- how far-reaching it goes," said Goodyear.