Clearwater police arrest child predator suspect in ongoing sting - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Clearwater police arrest child predator suspect in ongoing sting

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Child predator suspect Michael Paine is arrested by Clearwater Police Child predator suspect Michael Paine is arrested by Clearwater Police
CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

A Sarasota man became the 36th suspect to be arrested in the "Operation Home Alone" investigation targeting child predators, according to Clearwater Police.

A week after Clearwater Police detectives concluded the operation with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies, 43-year-old Michael Paul Paine of Sarasota had been in constant contact with an undercover detective he thought was actually a 15-year-old girl.

Monday morning in Clearwater, he came to meet "her" and instead ended up being arrested and taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

"Even with all of the media attention on our operation a week ago, this suspect still pursued what he thought was a 15-year-old girl," said Police Chief Anthony Holloway.

"He didn't give up. That shows how desperate some of these predators are," the chief added. "They are still out there in abundance, and our goal is to get them off the streets," Holloway said.

Paine was charged with traveling to meet a minor, seduction of a minor via the Internet and two counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor.

Paine, a construction worker and student, admitted to the offenses after his arrest, according to the report.

"Operation Home Alone" was conducted Jan. 23-26 at the Clearwater Police Department in conjunction with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Other agencies involved included St. Petersburg Police, FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney's Office.

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Operation Home Alone: 35 arrested in Tampa Bay child sex sting

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