SJSO nabs 9 men in ‘Operation Rip Current’ child sex sting

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The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJSO) reported Wednesday, June 6 that nine men were arrested in a recent, four-day operation titled, “Operation Rip Current.”

Led by SJSO Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) detectives under the auspices of the North Florida ICAC Task Force, the operation involved undercover detectives and agents posing as children online to deter child predators from actual children. The undercover investigators were contacted by numerous subjects and were exposed to graphic and disturbing subject matter during contact with potential child predators. Many of those subjects aggressively requested to meet in person for the purpose of sexually abusing the child personas.

According to SJSO, Kenneth Brian Hanger – the ninth suspect who was arrested Tuesday at his home – is a registered sex offender who was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault in Bradford, Pennsylvania, more than 23 years ago. He was also arrested Nov. 1, 2017, on a charge of violating the sexual offender and predator holiday activity ordinance on Halloween.  

This was the fifth time in the past seven years that an (SJSO) undercover operation involved utilizing the internet to locate and identify those who use it to sexually exploit children. A total of 75 individuals were arrested in those five operations.

Assisting agencies for Operation Rip Current included: the FBI; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the Federal Department of Law Enforcement; Office of the State Attorney 7th Judicial Circuit; and the sheriff’s offices of St. Johns, Putnam and Alachua counties; as well as the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the police departments of St. Augustine Beach, Orange Park and Gainesville. Investigators continue to review evidence associated with the operation.

Those arrested, their charges and bonds are:

 

Curtis Lavon Duggan, 59, 9922 132nd St., Live Oak

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Bonds totaling $100,000

 

Habiel Isa Quiroz Carrasco, 28, 3301 Taylor St., Jacksonville

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2 Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Bonds totaling $60,000

 

Gary Dale Hickey Jr., 31, 7060 U.S. 1 N., St. Augustine

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Ct. 4: Transmission of harmful material to a minor (F)

Ct. 5: Attempting to promote a sexual performance of a child (F)

Bonds totaling $65,000

 

Matthew Joseph-Ryan Tatge, 22, 121 Pine Lakes Parkway N., Apt. 219

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Bonds totaling $45,000

 

Joshua Ryan Solana, 23, 73 Kings Estate Road, Lot 10, St. Augustine

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2 Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Ct. 4: Transmit info harmful to minors

Bonds totaling $20,000

 

Richard Paul Roberts, 46, 311 Goodall St., Daytona Beach

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Bonds totaling $15,000

 

Nicholas Daniel Jewel, 22, 6822 Pine Lake S., Jacksonville

Ct. 1: Use a computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Bonds totaling $15,000

 

Ronald Blaine Stafford II, 26, Homeless

Ct. 1: Use computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex (F)

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Ct. 4: Direct promote sexual performance by a child (F)

Bonds totaling $20,000

 

Kenneth Brian Hanger, 46, 181 S. Twin Maple Road, St. Augustine

Ct. 1: Use computer to solicit, seduce or lure a child for sex (F)

Ct. 2: Transmit info harmful to minors

Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F)

Ct. 4: Promote a sexual performance of a child (F)

Bonds totaling $25,000

 

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