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Authorities arrest 22 suspected child predators in Florida

September 17, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest 22 suspected child predators in Florida

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Law enforcement officials in Pensacola, Florida apprehended 22 suspected child predators in a massive five-day operation, which included the arrests of a pastor and a 46-year-old man who had a baggie of meth and a pipe on him.

The operation was aimed at adults who went to a designated location with the purpose “to have sex with minor children,” police stated in a press release.

“Operation Undertow,” as it was referred to, took place from September 7th to September 11th. The suspects reached out undercover agents about arranging to have sex with children.

Officers posted on different websites and began communicating with the suspects once the perverted child predators initiated conversation with them. The suspects were detained once they arrived at the appointed location with the intention of having sex with kids.

“It is through the collaborating, partnering and building relationships that we protect our children and make the internet a safer place,” David Alexander III, Pensacola Police Chief, said.

Alexander continued: “… Arresting and prosecuting these individuals helps to stop future abuse. This was five days of hard work for our officers, dispatchers, support personnel, and personnel from other agencies in addition to the planning of this operation.”

The pastor at First United Methodist Church of Pace, David Hoppenjan, was one of the 22 alleged child predators caught in the sting. He is facing accusations that he traveled to two different locations with the intention of having sex with a 14-year-old boy, WXIA reported.

Hoppenjan has five children and volunteered his time at local schools in the community, according to the Washington Post.

“As a church, we take any allegation of clergy misconduct very seriously,” read a statement released by the Alabama-West Florida Conference. “The United Methodist Church requires clergy to live by the highest ethical and moral standards. Conduct that violates these standards is a very serious matter and is not tolerated.”

Additionally, 46-year-old Bradly Jones, who was arrested in the sting, was in possession of meth and a smoking pipe when he arrived to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Jonas reportedly said: “I’m the only one who could do anything illegal, but I’m not ashamed of anything I do, and I’m willing to suffer any consequences I deserve.”

Two other men, 24-year-old David Olmos and 31-year-old Calvin Pearson, went together to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. Olmos had “a luggage bag full of various sex equipment, bondage, and sadomasochistic equipment,” in his car, according to arrest documents.

The 22 suspects range in ages from 18 to 71-years-old.

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said in a statement: “As a father, I am at ease knowing our law enforcement personnel are successful in dealing with this issue.”

“If these were real children in real conditions, these children would never be the same again, and it affects their entire life,” Ashton added.

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