Operation E-Guardian busts men trying to meet kids for sex in Hillsborough County location

FDLE and other agencies worked together

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - Fifteen men face charges after trying to meet young teenagers for sex in a six-day sting.

"Instead of finding a real child, these 15 guys found a cop," said Rick Ramirez.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and several other agencies began Operation E-Guardian last Wednesday and finished the first stage Monday morning. Officers chatted online with suspects, who met them at a secret house in Hillsborough County, where they were arrested.

They came from five counties.

"In each case, the suspects believed they were communicating with a child or the parents of a child," said Chuck McMullen.

Some brought sex toys and condoms. One man wept while officers took his picture.

The FDLE calls the roundup a frightening reminder for parents.

"We're saving potentially my own child or somebody else's children from being victimized by one of these idiots," McMullen said.

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