Donovan Arthur Sauleda, of Miami, was arrested Monday by the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office (WCSO), Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Monday, following a six month investigation where he communicated with an undercover detective who posed as a 15-year-old girl.
In late February, WCSO received information that the suspect was sending lewd and sexually oriented text messages to a 15-year-old female victim. The teenager told investigators that she had met the suspect in 2010 through social media.
Undercover detectives established a relationship with the suspect, and Sauleda traveled to Wakulla County to meet who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Instead, he was greeted by WCSO detectives and agents from FDLE and ICE HSI.
Sauleda sent messages that were sexual in nature to undercover agents and when he arrived in Crawfordville, sexual paraphernalia was discovered on him, as well as Ecstasy and marijuana. He was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and two counts of possession of synthetic narcotics (Ecstasy) with intent to sell.
Sauleda was held in the Wakulla County Jail under a $25,000 bond before being released Thursday. Additional charges are possible as law enforcement officials audit the defendant's electronic devices.
The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.