Florida authorities arrested 21 people on charges of soliciting minors for sex after a week-long sting operation targeting child predators. 
Photo: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Child predator sting nabs 21 in Florida undercover operation, including teacher

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. 

>> Read more trending news

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. 

>> Related: Child predators use popular app to go virtually undetected

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. 

“Needless to say individuals who are trolling the Internet are not always who they pretend to be, and our children can never be certain of the intentions of strangers,” Williams said. 

>> Related: 17 arrested in Georgia on child porn and exploitation charges 

He recommends parents supervise their children at all times when they’re online so they know who they are communicating with. 

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X