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OPERATION SUMMER HEAT: Panama City Police Crack Down on Online Predators and Prostitution

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PANAMA CITY, Fla (WDNews) – The Panama City Police Department’s Investigative Services Section recently concluded a successful three-day undercover operation called “OPERATION SUMMER HEAT.” The operation was specifically designed to combat child exploitation and online prostitution.

From May 30, 2024, to June 1, 2024, undercover investigators diligently worked to identify online predators using various social media and internet platforms. Through the exchange of messages with hundreds of individuals, detectives were able to initiate multiple investigations into those who transmitted harmful material or solicited sexual acts from individuals they believed to be minors.

Notably, four of these investigations resulted in charges when the online perpetrators attempted to meet the “child” in person. By targeting these individuals, the operation not only addressed child exploitation but also played a significant role in identifying potential sex trafficking victims and reducing future demand.

In addition to combating child exploitation, OPERATION SUMMER HEAT also targeted online prostitution and those profiting from it. By conducting thorough investigations, the operation successfully led to the charging of nine individuals with prostitution-related offenses.

The Panama City Police Department’s proactive approach and commitment to protecting vulnerable individuals in our community are commendable. The success of OPERATION SUMMER HEAT serves as a reminder of the importance of ongoing efforts to combat online crimes and ensure the safety of our children.