TAMPA —Twenty-eight people, at least two with ties to the Tampa Bay area, were arrested in a sting operation in Osceola County in recent days after authorities say they set up trysts with investigators who posed as girls under 16 interested in sex.
Raymond Michael Foy, 25, of Tampa and Jerry Wayne Johnson Jr., 34, of Brandon were booked Friday on felony charges of conspiracy, lewd and lascivious battery, traveling to lure a child and using a computer to seduce a child.
Foy, describing himself as an Army radio operator, answered an ad Thursday that began, "Guys n military uniforms r so sexy," an arrest affidavit states.
He expressed caution upon learning that advertiser "Katie" was underage. He texted that he felt like the FBI was watching.
(It was actually the gaze of a multiagency task force, and "Katie," of course was not real.)
But he talked graphically about sex. And, on Friday, he had a condom in his car at the Kissimmee Wendy's restaurant where he was supposed to meet "Katie," the record states.
The second man, Johnson, had started off posting his own ad on Craigslist looking for a "nice lady" who wanted a no-strings relationship with a "nice, in shape, educated man."
When he got a response from someone pretending to be a girl under 16, he exchanged messages and ultimately emailed a photo of his penis, an affidavit states. He drove to Kissimmee to meet her but instead met William Glidewell of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, who was part of the multiagency sting. (Glidewell was also "Katie.")
Twis Lizasuain, spokeswoman for the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, said one man arrested was a business traveler from Italy.
"What's alarming," she said, "is that a minimum of 28 possible child predators were arrested during this operation, but detectives and the agents probably talked with hundreds of them. They just didn't arrange to meet."
Patty Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3382.