Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputies have arrested 21 people in a week-long undercover operation targeting sex crimes against children.
Those arrested during Operation Watchdog ranged in age from 21 to 61, and were jailed on charges of soliciting minors for sex, according to authorities. Officers posing as underage children established the meetings then made the arrests, Sheriff Mike Williams said.
According to Williams, most of those arrested live in the Jacksonville area, and one is an associate teacher at Palencia Elementary School in St. Johns County.
Kyle Permenter, 24, was hired by St. Johns Schools in October of 2016 and is in his first year of teaching in the district.
A spokesperson for the St. Johns County School District said they learned about the arrest on May 9th and took immediate action by suspending the teacher with pay as an internal investigation continues.
Another arrest involved a man who had recently been released from prison for armed burglary. He fled from police and rammed a number of vehicles while resisting arrest, authorities said.
He recommends parents supervise their children at all times when they’re online so they know who they are communicating with.