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Nationwide Sting Operation Rescues 59 Children, Arrests 19 Florida Men for Sex Crimes

Close to half of those arrested were illegal immigrants.

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA — A nationwide sting operation designed to catch sex predators yielded over 100 arrests, including 19 in Florida.

Florida officials told Fox News that seven out of 19 people (40 percent) arrested in Bay County were illegal aliens – two of them had expired visas and the other five have no record showing lawful entry into the country.

Among the 19 men arrested, 14 were charged with traveling to engage in sexual activity with a minor and five were charged with possession of child pornography.

The sting – dubbed Operation Cross Country XIII – identified 200 sex trafficking victims, including 59 missing children.

The operation took place July 21–23 and involved the cooperation of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshals Service, United States Air Force OSI, the Panama City Police Department, the Panama City Beach Police Department, and the Lynn Haven Police Department.

“Sex traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause their victims unimaginable harm,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “This operation, which located 59 actively missing children, builds on the tremendous work the FBI has undertaken over many years to rescue minor victims and arrest those responsible for these unspeakable crimes.”

The 19 men arrested in Florida include: Jesus Rangel De La Cruz, 32; Nery Antonio Bonilla Galvez, 37; Flavio Cruz, 25; James Michael Cummings, 44; Luke Kirspel, 20; James Edward Clay, Jr., 43; Shane Steve Cherry, 34; Adam Louis Szenay, 41; Christopher James Correll, 49; Zamir Devon Blue, 26; Donald Powell, 78; Devonte Lavelle Malcolm, 27; Cameron Scott Shiver, 20; Shemar O. Pearson, 23; Jose Arizmendi, 36; Robinson Andres Mancheno Monar, 26; Carlos Mejia Ruiz, 18; Adam Glen McCullen, 35; Kasey Copeland, 30.