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Officers: Men who thought they were meeting teen for sex arrested

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —

Seminole County investigators said three people were arrested on charges of using the Internet to sexually exploit children.

Authorities said Christopher DeBerry, 32, of Sanford, Trae’ Peter, 21, of Winter Park and John Ziolkowski, 23, of Oviedo, traveled to and within Seminole County, intending to engage in sexual activity with who they believed to be a 13-year-old child.

“Like I said, I have daughters and granddaughters, so, that is the last thing I want to hear is somebody trying to have sex with a teenager. Do you know what I mean?” said suspect’s neighbor Jason Dresser.

During the operation, undercover law enforcement officers said they chatted online, emailed and spoke on the phone with men who believed they were speaking with a minor. The three-day operation began on Friday and concluded earlier Monday morning, authorities said.

DeBerry had been arrested in Georgia for another sex crime, authorities said.

“Detectives say that crime happened in Georgia. So, he is being held here without bond, along with one of the other suspects.  But the third man just got bond,” said Kim Cannaday of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

“We want to make sure that we put an end to this,” Cannaday said.

Investigators said DeBerry was going to meet the girl on Sixth Street and Sanford Avenue, which is next door to where he lives.

Travis Barfield said he started rooming with DeBerry a few weeks ago.

“He is a very nice guy.  But I am sorry to hear that. I didn’t see him this weekend though. Very shocked,” said Barfield.

The three men are expected to have their arraignments in the next month or two.

DeBerry, Peter, and Ziolkowski were booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

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