PLANT CITY — Eight men were arrested this weekend after they traveled to meet minors for sex, authorities say.
Officials with the Plant City Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement posted online ads and communicated with the men who, authorities say, responded by email and text messages.
The law enforcement officers pretended to be minors, usually 14 or 15 years old.
When the men showed up Saturday to a prearranged location, they were not met by teenagers. Instead, Plant City police officers arrested them. The men were booked into the Orient Road Jail this weekend, each facing one felony count of traveling to meet a minor for sex after using a computer.
Those men are David Langford, 56, of Alturas; Toby Hebert, 41, of Holiday; David Letchworth, 22, of Tampa; James McGinnis, 46, of Dover; Chuck Lindeen, 53, of St. Petersburg; David Bigelow, 43, of Massachusetts; Peter Ciaverelli, 30, of Tampa; and Joseph Malventano, 23, of Odessa.
Besides setting up a meeting with what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, Malventano sent links to pornographic photos and brought a camera with him to the meeting spot, police say. He also faces 14 counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor and one count of attempted use of a child in a sexual performance.