January 26, 2009


The danger of child predators trolling the internet has captured local and national headlines, and Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives helping protect those kids earned a local TV station a major accolade.

In the fall of 2007, the BSO Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) gave the Spanish language TV Station Telemundo 51 exclusive access to the “Home Alone III” Investigation, an undercover operation where detectives posed as juveniles on social networking sites.  The detectives logged in and created the computer profiles of young boys and girls, and were contacted time and time again by adult men soliciting them for inappropriate sexual encounters.  In just one week “Home Alone III” led to the arrest of 10 men who drove from near and far to an undercover location where they thought they were meeting a minor.  Instead, the men were received by BSO deputies.

Reporter Ivan Taylor and the Telemundo 51 crew was there to capture the images of the men being taken into custody, and his report “Capturando Depredadores/Capturing Predators,” chronicling the operation, received top recognition at the Suncoast Emmy Award Ceremony held this past December 6 in Orlando.  The Telemundo team received the award for Best Crime Program.  But though the Telemundo crew gets to take home the Emmy statuettes for their great work, we know the ICAC detectives and their outstanding efforts were the stars of the show.  They don’t need to have an Emmy to earn our congratulations on a job well done!

Pictured: (back row) ICE Agent Mike Bentolila, Sgt. Giuseppe Weller, Lt. Robert Cates, and Forensics Technician Jim Medley. (Front Row) Admin Coordinator -Sharon Panter, SID Analyst-Tina McCoy, and Computer Forensics -Technician Jeanne Burtnett.

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