In addition to the arrest videos here, check out today’s news conference with Sheriff Mike Chitwood. He gives some details and implores parents to protect their children online.
For five days, online predators looking for sex with teenage girls and boys in Volusia County all came to the same sudden realization: They were chatting with undercover law enforcement officers, not children.
By Saturday’s end of “Operation Indecent Proposal,” a joint effort between the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and several other local, state and federal agencies, 14 men were arrested after traveling here to meet their victims.
“This is what’s out there lurking on the Internet. This is what you’re dealing with: Scumbag Central. I know when I left there, I felt like I needed to take a shower.” Sheriff Mike Chitwood
Among the arrests:
*Victor Williams, 40 (DOB 8/16/1976), of Palm Coast, a social services contractor who has worked with children in the past. Sheriff’s detectives are working to develop a comprehensive list of Williams’ past clients and contacts with children, and will conduct interviews with them as the investigation continues. Anyone with information that might be relevant to this investigation is asked to contact the VCSO Child Exploitation Unit at 386-323-3574.
*Christopher Chierchio, 36 (DOB 6/28/1980), of Preble, N.Y., a registered sex offender who absconded from New York in 2015.
*William Parshall, 58 (DOB 1/28/1959), of Jacksonville, a retired U.S. Navy civilian logistics employee who said he’s had multiple contacts with juvenile females while chatting online daily for approximately three years. Parshall booked a hotel room in Daytona Beach for his encounter, and detectives found condoms in the night stand and a vibrator hidden in the bedsheets. They also located a pair of vibrating underwear under the driver’s seat of his car.
Many of the predators were local. Some came to a decoy house to meet their victims, while others set up meetings in public spaces. One drove about 92 miles with heroin in his car to meet with a 14-year-old. One was driven to the decoy house by his mother, and he brought condoms and an Xbox with him.
All were ultimately taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail.
Not everyone who communicated with the undercover chatters traveled to meet the decoy, but some sent explicit messages and images. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate those cases, and additional arrests are possible. So are additional operations.
“We’re going to do it again,” the sheriff said at Monday’s news conference announcing the arrests. “As sure as God made green apples, we’ll be sitting in this room again and we’ll have 14 or 15 more people up on this board… These folks that we’re dealing with are sick, twisted individuals who are wired differently than we are.”
The additional defendants and their charges are:
The operation, held in conjunction with the national operation “Broken Heart 2,” was a cooperative effort between the Sheriff’s Office, the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the ICE-Brevard-Volusia Child Exploitation Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Volusia East Side Narcotics Task Force, the Volusia Bureau of Investigation, police from Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Gainesville and Tallahassee, sheriff’s offices from Jacksonville and Brevard, Columbia and Walton counties, the State Attorney’s Office for the 7th Judicial Circuit and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.