POLK COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Polk County sheriff’s officials say 16 people have been arrested in “Operation Cyber Child III,” an undercover operation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) focusing on adults travelling to meet minors to engage in sexual activity and on those who possess child pornography. 

“Some have not gotten the message.  We are going to continue to conduct these investigations to protect our children from sexual predators and from those who trade and download child pornography,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release.

During the operation, undercover detectives monitored various Internet web sites and social media computer applications, PCSO said. Detectives posted fictitious ads or profiles on various websites and applications and despite the repeated warnings and media coverage of past operations, deputies say numerous men chatted online, emailed, texted, and talked on the phone with the undercover detectives who posed as children online. Deputies say the suspects solicited for sex acts, sent pornographic pictures and images of themselves, and asked for nude photos of the children to be sent to them. The men travelled to the undercover location to follow through with the promises made online to engage in sexual activity with the children, deputies say.

Those arrested are:

  1. Awais Iftikhar, 25
  1. Anthony Keo,18
  1. Jose Luis Torres, 39
  1. Kevin Sisco, 23 
  1. Jonathan Cruz,18
  1. Matthew “Cody” Myers, 23 
  1. Michael Tyler Shaw, 21
  1. Luis Enrique Alvarez, 33
  1. Zachary Spencer, 26
  1. Allen Treaster, 40                      
  1. Jacob Bickel, 20
  1. Stephen Carlson, 23
  1. Timothy Lucas, 20


 Photo Credit Polk County Sheriff's Office