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Brandon Man Arrested During Chat Operation Facing More Charges for Sex with Minor

BRANDON, Fla. – A Brandon man arrested during a recent Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online chat operation is now facing additional charges after detectives discovered he was engaging in sex with a minor he met online.

Flor-Adam Brandon Cruz, 24, was one of 22 men arrested during Operation Social Bust. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives posed as underage girls and boys on social media in an effort to locate online sexual predators.

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Back in September, an undercover detective posing as a 15-year-old girl came in contact with Cruz after he initiated a conversation online. Cruz sent explicit text messages describing the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the underage girl and claimed he would help her gain experience with sex. Detectives were able to arrest Cruz during a traffic stop in Brandon.

Cruz is a high-risk sex offender who was just released from Florida State Prison in July of 2020. He is on felony probation until 2032 for lewd and lascivious battery on a minor.

After obtaining a search warrant for Cruz’s cellphone, detectives were able to identify a real 15-year-old victim with whom he was engaging in sex.

Detectives learned that Cruz used Uber to transport the teenage girl, who was reported as missing, from Pinellas County to his home to have sex with her on two separate occasions. Cruz filmed the sexual acts, and the videos were discovered on his cellphone.

In addition to his initial charges for using computer services/devices to solicit certain illegal acts, unlawful use of a two-way communications device, transmission of harmful material to a minor and violation of probation, Cruz will now face add-on charges of lewd and lascivious battery (3 counts), promotion of a sexual performance by a child, interference with child custody, and traveling to meet a minor after using computer services/devices to solicit certain illegal acts (2 counts).

“It sickens me that this convicted sex offender continued to prey on children even after serving time in prison for his heinous acts,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Had it not been for the thorough investigative work of our detectives well after Operation Social Bust ended, we would have never known about this juvenile who Cruz was taking advantage of repeatedly. This is exactly why we conduct these undercover chat operations. We want to find these sexual predators lurking online before they find our children.”

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One Reply to “Brandon Man Arrested During Chat Operation Facing More Charges for Sex with Minor”

  1. RE: Brandon Cruz I have no idea why the captain is appauled at the idea of someone spending time in prison for lewd & lascivious only to get out and do it again. No cure for pedophilia. There might be some gray area here. She”s 15 and he is 24? That used to be socially accepted. Now 15 & 42 is different. 24 and 10 is different! I believe my grandmother was married at 15 or16. I am not condoning this behavior at all!! Also given the fact that he was released and went right out and did it again knowing there were consequences!!!

    I also dont understand LGBTQ considering adding pedophillia as just another sexual sensation! Its not consensual you idiots. Its predatory for the most part.

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