Last week, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, arrested and charged 35 Tallahassee men with using a communication service to seduce or solicit a guardian, obscene communication and traveling to meet after using computer solicitation, including one Florida A&M student.
Among the individuals arrested were a Florida State English professor, four FSU students, a Jacob’s Chapel Freewill Baptist Church minister, an attorney in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ general counsel office, a football and baseball coach, a corrections officer for the Florida Department of Corrections and Neil Douglas Chavez, a 19-year-old FAMU student.
TPD and special law enforcement agents took Chavez, a second-year graphic design student from Fort Lauderdale, into custody on Oct. 13 after his alleged attempt to have sex with a minor. Chavez arrived at 234 E 7th Avenue, where he thought he was meeting a 28-year-old woman and her 14-year-old sister to engage in sexual activities with the young girl.
According to an arrest affidavit, Chavez engaged in a series of e-mail conversations after a law enforcement investigator posted “sisters of need some experience” on Craiglist.com.
Investigators said Chavez then responded “Hey, I’ll be the one. Hit me up I am serious.” After the investigator informed Chavez of the minor’s age, Chavez was then asked if he was “okay” with that.
According to the arrest report, Chavez then sent a sexual explicit photo and a detailed response explaining what he was going to do with who he believed was a minor. Chavez said he was by FAMU and asked for directions on how to get to the location, where he was apprehended and taken into custody.
Post-Miranda Rights, Chavez admitted to being the person who exchanged emails and phone conversations with the undercover investigator and also admitted to coming to the location to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
At the time of his arrest, Chavez had two condoms in his possession. He was charged with using a computer to solicit a guardian for sex with a minor and traveling to have sex with a minor.
“We’ve known each other for a long time,” said David Jolicoeur, Chavez’s roommate. “This is sketchy to me.”
Jolicoeur said the defendant is trustworthy, makes good grades and had a great future ahead of him.
“I still don’t believe this story,” he said.
Mike Phillips, assistant special agent in charge at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said the department plans on conducting these operations periodically.
“We know that this type of activity goes on the Internet,” Phillips said. “We just decided to proactively investigate it.”
According to Phillips, there were many individuals who didn’t get arrested because they did not show up to the location; however, law enforcement will be actively monitoring them in the future.
“We will be following up on them,” Phillips said.
Jolicoeur said Chavez hasn’t been home since his arrest. His bond is set at $25,000.