VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida — Seven Central Florida men are in custody after Volusia County Sheriff’s Office investigators say they allegedly met children for sex in the county.
- Men arrested, charged in 'Operation Unlawful Attraction'
- Deputies said aim was to track down potential 'internet predators'
- Suspects allegedly traveled to Volusia to meet children
The Sheriff’s Office said the arrests were a part of an undercover sting called “Operation Unlawful Attraction,” to track down potential “internet predators.”
Deputies say one of the men chatted with an undercover detective as long as two years ago but never traveled to meet his target until recently. He was arrested by deputies at a RaceTrac gas station in Daytona Beach. Another one of the men was a former counselor at Florida Elks Youth Camp.
Another suspect alleged that he traveled to the meeting place because he suspected it was an undercover sting. He told detectives that he thought it would be "cool to see it in action."
The suspects are facing charges such as attempted lewd and lascivious battery, using a two-way communication device to commit a felony, traveling to seduce, solicit or lure a child, and using a computer to seduce, solicit and lure a child.
The following men were arrested and charged:
- Ryan Kirk, 31, of New Smyrna Beach
- George C. Wallace, 42, of South Daytona
- Jorge A. Cruz, 29, of DeBary
- Jonathan Harden, 25, of Sanford; detectives say he works for Orlando Health
- Ronald J. Foley, 28, of Daytona Beach
- James Wayne Bowen, 34, of Gainesville
- Jonathan William Hayes, 22, of Eustis; he told investigators he's a former youth camp counselor