Can the Military Police Conduct Internet Sex Stings?
This is one of the issues that was addressed in a hearing in Pinellas County on February 19th, 2014. There is an Air Force OSI agent by the name of William Glidewell that has been working with the State in four sex stings in the last year as the Internet “chatter”. He started with the Central Florida ICAC task force administered by Sheriff Grady Judd and “chatted” first in a case in Lake County. Recently, he participated in two stings in Pinellas County as well as four Federal cases in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida. Many of these men facing charges which may lead to life altering court records and future of possible Florida probation.
I have challenged his legal authority and the legality of his participation in purely “State” criminal investigations. There is a Federal Statute that was created just after the Civil War that makes it illegal for the military to conduct state criminal investigations. In the Pinellas case, Glidewell chatted with a man for two days and lured him to travel to Clearwater and did not disclose age until the man arrived outside the “take down” location. The Clearwater case also involves a motion to dismiss based on “Entrapment as a matter of law”.There was a ruling on both the Federal issue as well as the entrapment issue, call me for more information on the outcome.
The Federal Statute known as the “Posse Comitatus” law could impact a number of State cases across Florida in that Glidewell’s participation could be considered a felony violation of the Federal Law. There has never been a prosecution under the Posse Comitatus law but that does not mean that this will not be the first. It is unlikely the United States Attorney will do anything because Glidewell is a witness for them in a number of cases. Maybe the Department of Justice will get involved and bring this to a head. In the meantime, I contacted the Air Force to alert them to the fact that military investigators are not supposed to be enforcing State laws.
The Internet Sex stings are out of control and many innocent men are being entrapped by undercover officers that are actually luring and enticing them to travel to meet minors. Sex is powerful bait and the law is being abused regularly by local law enforcement. The time and effort would be better spent educating young girls about the dangers of the Internet.
If you or someone you know is facing charges after a Florida Internet Sex Sting of traveling to meet a minor, improper use of a communication device, internet solicitation of a minor, attempted child abuse or potential charges as a result of an arrest after a cyber child sex sting operation and need to talk about your options, please call me, Peter D. Aiken at 941-366-3506 today for a free consultation.
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