Seven men who traveled to parking lots across Volusia County to meet children for sex instead found themselves in handcuffs as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office conducted its latest undercover sting targeting Internet predators, “Operation Unlawful Attraction.”
The arrests included one man who chatted with undercover VCSO detectives in another predator operation two years ago, but never traveled to meet his target. This time, 43-year-old George Wallace of South Daytona made the trip and was arrested in a Racetrac gas station parking lot in Daytona Beach. His statements to an undercover detective indicated he’d had sex with a 15-year-old more than once in the past.
Another defendant, 22-year-old Jonathan William Hayes of Eustis, is a former Florida Elks Youth Camp counselor and currently a maintenance worker; he told a chatter (who he believed was 14 years old) in detail about a previous sexual encounter with a 16-year-old girl.
When 34-year-old James Bowen, co-owner of Bob’s Barber Shop in Gainesville, was arrested at a Racetrac station in Deltona, he told deputies he only came to the meeting place because he believed it was an undercover sting and he thought it would be cool to see it in action. His sexually charged chats and texts with an undercover detective he believed was a 14-year-old girl ensured that he got his wish.