Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer warns adults trolling the Internet looking for underage sex partners to beware.
“We are monitoring (online) sites, and you’ll never know who you’re talking to,” Cramer said Monday during a news conference announcing the arrests of nine men resulting from an undercover sting, dubbed Operation Child Safe.
The sting was conducted Thursday and Friday by three local law enforcement agencies and the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation in conjunction with the Chippewa Valley Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.
Nine men ages 20 to 60 were arrested after investigators from the forensics laboratory posted ads pretending to be underage children seeking sex or adults looking to traffic or sell a child for sex.
Investigators received multiple responses, which included emails, telephone communications and text messages, according to information released by the Eau Claire Police Department. Suspects requested meeting for sex at a predesignated location in the Chippewa Valley, and undercover officers met them and took them into custody.
“These are the ones who showed up,” said sheriff’s Capt. Dan Bresina.
The men arrested on preliminary charges of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, attempted child enticement and attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child: