30 men show up at house, are arrested in undercover sex sting

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

An online sex sting landed more than 30 men behind bars in Orange County.

The bust was part of an undercover sting called Operation Spider Web, which targeted suspects who met undercover officers posing as minors online.

Investigators said the suspects arrived at a bait home in Orange County, expecting to have sex with underage children, but deputies were inside waiting to arrest them.

WFTV reviewed some of the arrest video and found some of the men cried when they realized what was happening.

Manuel Lopez started sobbing when he realized he was under arrest, but the 43-year-old got no pity from officers.

Moments before his arrest, Lopez showed up at the bait home with fast food for the 15-year-old girl he thought he was meeting for sex.

Instead, he ended up as one of 31 men arrested in a six-day sting targeting Internet predators.

Detectives said each of these suspects didn't just respond to fake ads offering sex with minors, they also drove to a decoy house to go through with the act.

Neighbors said they had no idea the operation was going down.

"It's very scary, and I know a lot of neighbors here look out for each other. I had no idea at all," said neighbor Jennifer Tussing.

Records show at least one suspect thought he was meeting a mother and her 11-year-old daughter.

According to a report, the man asked the undercover officer who was posing as a mother online, "When can I teach her? Does she want to learn about everything?"

Another man wrote, "I am safe, sane and perfectly respectful."

One suspect said he thought police were behind the ad, but he drove to the house anyway.

"I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!" he can be heard saying.

Operation Spider Web was also set up last year during Halloween. In that sting, 50 people were lured in, authorities said.

"It's sad, but they've got to get caught. I guess that's the only way to catch them and get them off the street," said neighbor Tony Lisboa.

Some neighbors said they realized something was going down at the home.

"They would park in front of other people's homes and just sit in there with the lights off. Then he'd get out and run into the home," said Lisboa.

Investigators said 31 men were arrested in just one week. Those suspects range in age from 18 to 59 years old.

"Despite all the media attention and notoriety given to this issue, there are still individuals who engage in the type of activity. The good news is the numbers are down, but the ultimate goal is to drive that number to zero," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The arrests are the latest in a series of high-profile crackdowns by the sheriff's office leading straight into Election Day.

Demings is running for re-election and told WFTV politics has nothing to do with getting predators off the streets.