LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — The Lexington County Sheriff's Department announced September 1, 2022, it has arrested an additional 22 male suspects as part of an ongoing operation targeting potential sexual predators, bringing the total number of those arrested to 33.
The online sting operation has been hosted by the Sheriff's Department, Lexington Police and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office, according to Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon. The operation targeted potential sexual predators attempting to contact children for sexual activity.
No children were used or placed in danger during this investigation.
"The intent of these suspects during these communications is clear," said Koon. "They wanted to persuade, entice or coerce someone they reasonably believed to be under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity."
The sting arrested men from Columbia, St. Matthews, Gaston, and Lexington in the Midlands, as well as others from North Carolina, New York, Florida, Maine, and Washington state.
The faces charges including sexual exploitation to a minor to distributing obscene material.