POSTED: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 10:01am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Seminole County Sheriff's Office investigators say with the help of 15 other law enforcement agencies, they arrested 50 people seeking sex with children.
Undercover officers posed as children, or parents arranging sexual activities with children, in Operation Cardea. They chatted online, emailed or spoke on the phone with dozens of men who they say wanted to have sex with children.
The men then traveled to a Seminole County home and were arrested, according to deputies.
The men range in age from 19 to 60. A Turkish tourist, school employees and college students are among those arrested.
A Volusia County teacher, Duncan St. Gelais, resigned from his teaching job after his arrest.
"He teaches English to ninth and 10th-graders," said Seminole County Sheriff's Chief Dennis Lemma. "He connected up with whom he thought was a mother who said the family was open-minded. He negotiated and was prepared to have sex with who he thought was a 14 year old female."
"Most of the men who were part of this asked us if we were cops; they suspected this was a sting," said Lemma. "They feared apprehension, yet came anyway."
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