Undercover sting 'Operation Child Protector IV' nabs 6 men who now face 22 felony charges

Undercover sting ‘Operation Child Protector IV’ nabs 6 men who now face 22 felony charges

(As originally published with individual photos, Tue, October 10th 2023, 5:01 PM EDT)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (TND) — Authorities in central Florida teamed up for a week-long undercover operation to catch people who “prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity,” and they turned up six suspects.

The sting was named “Operation Child Protector IV” and according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office,

“detectives posed as children or guardians of children on social media platforms, mobile apps, and online dating sites.”

The men arrested “communicated with and solicited who they thought were children or guardians online,” and then “showed up to an undercover location in Polk County at separate times to sexually batter children.”

“Three of the six suspects wanted to pay an adult hundreds of dollars to have sex with who they thought was a child,” the sheriff’s office said. “Those three were charged with human trafficking, a life felony.”

Also, “Three of the suspects brought condoms to the undercover location, three told detectives they are married, and three have children.”

Undercover sting 'Operation Child Protector IV' nabs 6 men who now face 22 felony charges
Authorities said the 6 men they arrested “prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity,” Oct. 10, 2023. (Polk Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Detectives filed 22 charges against the men.

According to the sheriff’s office, 40-year-old Jairo Muniz was in a conversation “with an undercover detective who was posing as a 13-year-old girl. He asked several questions about her sexual experience and described the sex acts he wanted to do to her; he stopped and bought condoms on the way. He sent a nude photo of himself to the girl. He told detectives that he is married and has four daughters between the ages of 9 and 16 years old. He said he is a laborer at a scaffolding company, and that he told his boss he was going to be late to work the day he traveled to meet the child for sex.”

Muniz was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, transmission of material harmful to a minor, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, 36-year-old Timothy Wellman communicated with “an undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. He told her she was cute and described the sex acts he wanted to do to her. He told detectives that he is divorced and his two kids, ages 5 and 6, live with his ex-wife in Kentucky. He said he was talking to his children on the phone and telling them good night when he was driving to the undercover location. He said that he is an Army veteran using his G.I. Bill for college.”

Wellman was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, 49-year-old Feras Klisli was in a conversation “with an undercover detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. He asked her if she was a virgin and described the sex acts he wanted to do to her. He told detectives that he is married with two adult children and that he is an Uber driver.”

Klisli was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex, attempted lewd battery, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, 46-year-old Douglas Da Silva communicated “with an undercover detective who was posing as an adult who had access to a 15-year-old female child. He asked her if the girl was a virgin and told her he wanted to have sex with her twice within an hour. He agreed to pay her $250 to have unprotected sex with the child. He told detectives that he is an Uber Eats driver, is married, and that he and his wife own a house cleaning business. He said he has been in the U.S. for four years and is awaiting confirmation of his green card.”

Da Silva was charged with human trafficking, traveling to meet a minor for sex, use of a computer to solicit the guardian of a child for sex, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, 33-year-old Trevor Walker was in a conversation “with an undercover detective who was posing as an adult who had access to a 15-year-old female child. He said he wanted to ‘go hard’ and agreed to pay her $400 to have unprotected sex with the child for three hours. He mentioned this being a ‘sting’ with ‘Grady Judd’ during their conversations. He told detectives that he works at Publix distribution in Orlando.”

Walker was charged with human trafficking, traveling to meet a minor for sex, use of a computer to solicit the guardian of a child for sex, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

According to the sheriff’s office, 26-year-old Douglas Cooley communicated “with an undercover detective who was posing as an adult who had access to a 15-year-old female child. He agreed to pay her $100 to have protected sex with the child for half an hour, and an additional $50 for unprotected sex. He works at the Clay Springs Elementary School after-school daycare in Apopka.”

Cooley was charged with human trafficking, traveling to meet a minor for sex, use of a computer to solicit the guardian of a child for sex, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

All 22 of those criminal charges are felonies.

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