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Friday, June 14, 2024

Ocala man caught in child sex sting gets 12 years in prison

An Ocala man who was arrested during a child sex sting operation in 2022 will spend the next 12 years of his life behind bars.

On Wednesday, State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit Bill Gladson announced that jurors found Andre Allen Scott guilty of traveling to meet a minor, soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct using a computer, and unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony.

Andre Allen Scott, 38, of Ocala
Andre Allen Scott, 38, of Ocala

In April of 2022, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, along with the assistance of several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, conducted a sting operation called “Operation April Fools.”

The primary purpose of this online operation was to target suspects who were using the internet to sexually exploit children with the intention of meeting them.

During the operation, undercover officers exchanged messages with multiple individuals who ultimately traveled to various locations within Marion County with the expectation that they were meeting a child between the ages of 12 and 16 for sexual activity.

At the conclusion of this operation, a total of 22 individuals were arrested by law enforcement, including Scott.

Scott, 38, had numerous “sexually explicit” online conversations with the undercover officer, who he believed to be a child. While communicating with the decoy, Scott traveled to an unspecified location to meet the child, and he was placed under arrest by MCSO deputies.

After jurors found Scott guilty on all charges, he was sentenced to 12 years in the Florida Department of Corrections, followed by three years of sex offender probation. He will also be designated as a sexual offender.