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Operation Grim Reaper Nets 22 Sex Offenders

October 21, 2010

The man stands outside a middle class neighborhood home in Citrus County anticipating meeting an underage girl for sex. He knocks lightly…the door springs open and he sees armed men coming at him. He bolts, only to be tackled by the men and wrestled to the ground. As his face is buried in the dirt and arms pulled behind him, he hears, “Relax! Sheriff's Office.”

That's the fate that awaited 22 men lured to a home where they expected to have sex with children, ages 12 to 14. Deputies report that “Operation Grim Reaper,” so named for Halloween, was “scarily successful.” After deputies logged more than 700 hours in chat time — 22 men took the bait and all 22 were arrested.

“As a Sheriff, very seldom do we have the opportunity to stand in front of you and say we saved 22 young people,” Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy told reporters. And he used the forum to warn other would-be predators, “This particular enforcement action is going on the road and we may be coming to a town near you. You just don't happen to know when we're coming.”