The Florida Attorney General’s Office has been conducting a statewide crackdown on child sex crimes perpetrated using the internet, says Broward criminal attorney William Moore. Called “Operation Orange Tree” by officials investigating the alleged criminal activity, the investigators rounded-up dozens of accused offenders on Tuesday. In an announcement in Tallahassee, with John Walsh present to show his support for the crackdown, the state government announced that it had apprehended and arrested 77 people suspected of engaging in illegal activity related to child sexual abuse and the internet. Of those, 17 allegedly had video guides to molesting children without getting caught in their possession, and four were already listed as registered sex offenders. All of the suspects who have been arrested are men. Several victims have been located, including a teenaged girl who has told police about her sexual abuse over the past decade. Operation Orange Tree took place over the last ten weeks, said Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Five of those arrested are in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties, says Broward criminal lawyer Moore. Fort Lauderdale-Dade resident Michael Sandoval, 35, has been charged as a result of the investigative operation, as have Samuel S. Jones, 42, of Broward County, and Eric Colin Super, 31, and Timothy J. Eliot, 21, both of Broward County. All have been charged with at least one count of possession of obscene material. The nature of the materials and whether they depicted children is not yet clear.
John Walsh has been publicly involved in this venture due to his fame and because of his personal interest: his son Adam was kidnapped from a south Florida shopping center in July 1981, when the six-year-old was shopping with his mother. Part of his body was later located in an area canal, 120 miles north of the initial abduction. John Walsh is famously the host of the television show America’s Most Wanted, a television crime show that has been running for 22 years. Walsh and his wife co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; both have been longtime advocates for children and safety. Serial killer Ottis Toole is believed to have been Adam Walsh’s killer, according to the Hollywood Police Department, which closed his case in December 2008. Toole died in prison of cirrhosis, a liver condition, in 1996 at the age of 49, but he had confessed and later recanted to Adam’s murder while he was alive.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested or charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime in the south Florida area, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.