Twelve people were arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Friday as part of “Operation Child Protector Two”. This was part of an undercover partnership between the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Auburndale, and Winter Haven Police Departments to catch child predators.
Sheriff Grady Judd of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said, “The suspects thought they were talking to real 13, 14, 15-year-old little girls, or little boys, when in fact, they were talking to undercover detectives.”
One of the 12 arrested suspects was Johnny Hughley, 43 of Lehigh Acres. According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Hughley, from Lehigh Acres, was messaging a detective disguised as a 14-year-old girl.
Sheriff Judd said, “He was grooming her and talking very nasty, telling all the ugly things that he wanted to do. And guess what? Then he said, Oh, do you have a friend you can bring that’s the same age.”
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Hughley began chatting with an undercover detective on June 5.
Hughley faces one count of 2-way communication device to commit a felony and one count of transmission of material harmful to a minor.
Judd said Hughley sent a nude picture.
“You can guess what that was. At the end of the day. Even though he did not travel to the county. He was arrested,” Judd said.
“He told her he liked young girls, asked her what sexual things she would let him do to her, including having sex with two men at once, and asked her if she had a friend her age who would also want to have sex with him,” according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Hughley has an extensive criminal history that dates back to 2003, including drug charges and probation violation, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. He was arrested on Wednesday.
While Hughley was just one of 12 arrested in this operation, there’s a deeper message in all of this.
“Think the message to the parents is simply this protection of your children from online predators starts with you at home, you’ve got to know who your children are talking with if you allow them online, what sites they’re on,” Judd said.
Sheriff Judd said aside from the 12 arrested, they’re looking for two more. As for Hughley, he’s out on bond.