An investigation focused on catching sex offenders resulted in 12 arrests across Central Florida, Orange County deputies said. The men were arrested last week as part of a multi-agency investigation called: Operation Frostbite.
Deputies said they arrested men who contacted children or their guardians online for sex.
Some men were married and two were registered sex offenders/predators, authorities said.
"Parents you have to keep an eye on your children. That phone, that internet is like a weapon in their hands," Sgt. Rich Mankewich with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
The men were arrested by undercover officers while the culprits used websites, like, “Plenty of Fish,” an investigation revealed.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — TRENDING NOW:
"These are sexual predators who want to meet young children," Mankewich said.
Investigators also said arrested made in past Operation Frostbite investigations have declined because most websites do not offer chat rooms anymore.
"We go to websites posing as a young child, and through conversation, they start hitting on us and want some sort of sex act," he said.
While that makes it more difficult to prey on children, it also makes it harder for authorities to pinpoint offenders, deputies said.
The men who were arrested were identified as: Nikolai Kane Dunkelberger, Jacob Thomas Sorci, Eduardo Antonio Mascorro, Kenneth Donovan White, Gabari Jones, Patrick Jeffrey Cruse, Zachery Valverde, Joshua Ray Purvis, Kevin Arturo Centeno Rivera, Kevin George Neas, Christopher Lee Dishong and Richard Bryan Austin.
The men face a felony charge of traveling to meet a minor.
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Cox Media Group