SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Authorities say a 62-year-old Safety Harbor man seeking a sexual encounter with a child on social media discovers he was soliciting an undercover detective in Virginia.
According to detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office say their investigation began after receiving a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), stating 62-year-old Derrick Middleton was attempting to solicit sexual activities with a minor.
Middleton was utilizing a social media application to solicit sexual intercourse with a minor, but was unknowingly chatting with an undercover detective from the Richmond Police Department in Virginia. Through various investigative techniques, detectives were able to retrieve the chats from Middleton’s electronic device.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant from the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida and Middleton was arrested at his home in the 3100 block of State Road 580 in Safety Harbor on November 5, 2020. In an interview with detectives, Middleton admitted to the allegations.
Middleton was charged with one count Unlawful Use of Two-way Communication Device and one count Certain Use of Computer Services Prohibited. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
The investigation continues. CW44 News At 10 will provide further information as it becomes available.
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