FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — 10 men have been arrested over the span of two weeks through online sting operations conducted by the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD). This was part of an ongoing operation to find offenders in the area trying to solicit minors.
The mens’ age ranged between 18 and 51, and they were charged with a combined 19 felonies. Police announced the arrests on Thursday.
During the operation, officers posed as children online and made contact with the offenders. After they would arrive at a predetermined location to meet up, detectives would take the suspects into custody.
“Even during this holiday season, there are those who would prey against our most vulnerable, our children. Fortunately for our community, our detectives remain steadfast to ensure the safety of our children. These crimes have no place in our society and certainly not here in Fairfax County,” Major Ed O’Carroll, bureau chief of Major Crimes with the Cyber and Forensics Bureau said in a release.
FCPD released images of the suspects. More details of the charges and crimes can be found here.
Police encourage parents to be aware of their children’s activity online and to use security options to protect their children while online. The release outlined “apps parents should know about,” such as Telegram, Skout, Tagged, Instagram, Discord, Snapchat, Grindr and Roblox.
Anyone with any information about “other cases involving the exploitation of children or human trafficking” should call 703-246-7800, option 6. Anyone who wants to stay anonymous can also call 1-866-411-8477 or text FCCS and the tip to 847411.