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25 arrests made during online predator, human trafficking sting in Sarasota

The sheriff's office said the operation was to protect kids from online predators and human trafficking.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota County Sheriff Office hosted a news conference Friday morning to discuss 25 arrests made during an operation to protect kids from online predators and human trafficking.

Sheriff Tom Knight said the men arrested have 38 prior charges and 15 prior convictions. They range in age between 19 and 65 years old, according to Knight.

"[They] all utilize the internet and mobile applications to contact the children to have sex," Knight said.

Knight said the "most frightening thing" was the access and exposure children have to the mobile apps, which connected them to men arrested.

According to Knight, parents should be aware of 15 apps that their children could have on their mobile devices. It includes MeetMe, Grindr, Skout, WhatsApp,TikTok, Badoo, Bumble, Snapchat, Kik, Calculator%, LiveMe, HOLLA, Ask.fm, Whisper and Hot or Not.

Watch the entire news conference: Click or tap here

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