BCSO Deputy of Year Hunts Those That Prey On Our Children

By  //  March 17, 2014

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Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year Agent Michael Spadafora Brings Those That Prey On Our Children From the Shadows To Face Justice

Agent Michael Spadafora has literally rescued countless children from a living hell, from locations around the world, most from places where they should feel safe, within their own home.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

He does so, day after day, night after night, but you will never see his picture in the paper or in the news.

Spadafora has a very unique skill set, he hunts those that prey on our children. He uncovers those that seduce and victimize our children.  He brings them from the shadows to face justice. His heart and soul are completely committed to the protection of children, and unfortunately, there are far too many monsters out there.

His actions are heroic and dangerous. He often performs his own undercover activities, pitting himself against those who violently abuse others.  All for one common purpose – to ensure that every child he rescues will never be abused, exploited or victimized again.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey

INTERNATIONAL UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION

In January 2013, Agent Mike Spadafora began an undercover operation in a public Internet chat room that caters to persons who have a desire to meet underage children for the purpose of having sexual relationships.

This undercover operation began after he placed a classified ad that advised he was looking for “like-minded” individuals who wished to trade ideas.

Agent Michael Spadafora has literally rescued countless children from a living hell, from locations around the world, most from places where they should feel safe, within their own home. (BCSO image)

Agent Michael Spadafora has literally rescued countless children from a living hell, from locations around the world, most from places where they should feel safe, within their own home. (BCSO image)

Agent Spadafora received a response from a person later identified as Shuhel Ali who was from the United Kingdom.

As horrifying as this may sound, Ali stated that he was looking to start a relationship with a teenage girl for an absolutely unimaginable purpose.

Ali and Agent Spadafora continued to communicate with each other through April 2013, when Ali traveled from the United Kingdom to Brevard County to engage in activities with a child.

During this almost four-month operation, Agent Spadafora had to coordinate not only his conversations with the subject, but also the conversations of a civilian employee who was acting in the capacity of his daughter.

This employee spoke with Ali on multiple occasions where he described the activities in vivid detail that he wished to commit with this child.

As Agent Spadafora continued his investigation, it was learned that the subject might have a history of abusing children in different parts of the world. The subject spoke of traveling to several European countries in order to have relationships with children. 

Shuhel Ali

Shuhel Ali

As Agent Spadafora continued his investigation, it was learned that the subject might have a history of abusing children in different parts of the world. The subject spoke of traveling to several European countries in order to have relationships with children.

The investigation revealed that the subject had travelled to these countries and, based on the conversations, there was a belief that he had been previously involved in the exploitation of many children.

Since this travel involved multiple countries, the coordination was extremely time sensitive and detailed.  Agent Spadafora coordinated this effort while still actively playing the role of the father that the subject would meet when he arrived in the United States.

Ali eventually traveled from Manchester, England, to the Sanford Airport in April, where he met with Agent Spadafora. During the drive from the airport to Brevard County, Agent Spadafora gained information from the subject who detailed the prior conversations that had occurred over the Internet.

Ali described prior instances where he was involved in the abuse of children, to include his plans for the upcoming abuse. Agent Spadafora was able to obtain conversation to gain the most evidence against the subject.  He also obtained information that the subject was in possession of child pornography.

Due to the professionalism of Agent Spadafora and his coordination of the operation, the subject was arrested without incident once they entered Brevard County.  This did not end the investigation for Agent Spadafora. He authored search warrants for the computer and other evidence found in the possession of the subject.  He coordinated with the European authorities and their search of the subject’s residence, which led to the recovery of a vast amount of computer equipment.

Due to the professionalism of Agent Spadafora and his coordination of the operation, the subject was arrested without incident once they entered Brevard County.  This did not end the investigation for Agent Spadafora. He authored search warrants for the computer and other evidence found in the possession of the subject.  He coordinated with the European authorities and their search of the subject’s residence, which led to the recovery of a vast amount of computer equipment.

The examination of these items led to the discovery that the subject had been involved in the abuse of children and was in possession of a large amount of child pornography. The investigation is continuing into these images, many of which may have been produced by the subject, who captured this abuse on camera.

Because of the investigative expertise of Agent Spadafora, a very dangerous criminal has been taken off the streets of the world. Ali, by his own admission has abused children in multiple countries.  Were it not for the proactive efforts of Agent Spadafora, this subject would have been roaming the world looking for his next victim.

bcso-star-180“I am so proud of the tireless efforts by this partnership and our investigative team that removed this vile suspect from harming children,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said . “It is truly unimaginable that monsters exist and walk among us with the purpose of victimizing our most precious citizens. I want this message to be absolutely crystal clear, we will use every lawful resource we have in our possession to find and remove you from society if you try to harm a child, no matter where you may be on this planet.”

IDENTIFYING AND ARRESTING CHILD PREDATORS

In July 2013, Agent Spadafora worked as a chat coordinator during a CIS Operation, which aimed at identifying and arresting child predators.  The operation spanned six days and 11 individuals were arrested, nine of whom traveled to the undercover operation house for a minor.

On September 9, 2013, Agent Spadafora observed a Craigslist ad that read, “New nudist family seeks other nudist families to host us in space coas-m4m.” The ad continued by saying they were a nudist family and comfortable being nude in the home. The poster also advised they had a four-year-old boy and three-year-old girl they would bring with them.

Agent Spadafora worked as a chat coordinator during a CIS Operation, which aimed at identifying and arresting child predators.

Agent Michael Spadafora worked as a chat coordinator during a CIS Operation, which aimed at identifying and arresting child predators.

After observing the ad, Agent Spadafora used his undercover persona, posing as a father with a young daughter, and contacted the poster.  For the next two days, Agent Spadafora had several e-mail conversations with the subject. During the conversations, the suspect briefly discussed his desire to meet with Agent Spadafora and his fictitious daughter.

On October 11, 2013, Agent Spadafora received an e-mail from the suspect, who initiated conversation about Agent Spadafora traveling to the suspect’s residence in Merritt Island.  During the online conversation, the suspect asked for Agent Spadafora’s phone number. Agent Spadafora provided him a phone number. Several minutes later the suspect called and the two began a conversation.

During the conversation, the suspect began talking about his three-year-old daughter that was with him at the residence.

The suspect then invited Agent Spadafora to his residence to engage in activities with his three-year-old daughter. While still on the phone, the suspect stated that he was currently engaged in criminal activities with the child.

Concerned for the child, Agent Spadafora asked to speak with the child. The suspect allowed the child to talk on the phone, which allowed Agent Spadafora to confirm she was a small child.

Knowing that to save this child from further abuse, time was critical. Agent Spadafora began researching the e-mail addresses, phone numbers and any other data to help identify the suspect and his current location.  A short time later, the suspect was identified and location was successfully confirmed by the GAMEOVER Task Force. The address was identified and a surveillance team was assembled to watch the Merritt Island home.

Knowing that to save this child from further abuse, time was critical. Agent Spadafora began researching the e-mail addresses, phone numbers and any other data to help identify the suspect and his current location.  A short time later, the suspect was identified and location was successfully confirmed by the GAMEOVER Task Force. The address was identified and a surveillance team was assembled to watch the Merritt Island home.

The agents then made immediate contact with the suspect.  Agent Spadafora conducted an in-depth interview, where the suspect confessed to a list of terrible criminal activities as well as videotaping and photographing encounters that were transmitted to other adults via the Internet.

A search warrant was obtained for the residence, which produced vital electronic and physical evidence that corroborated the confession. The suspect then identified other individuals who were committing similar crimes.

Forensic Examiners from the Digital Forensics Unit of Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation by collecting and processing the various electronic devices recovered through the investigation.  As a result of that effort, an additional suspect from Orlando was identified.

The subject was interviewed and confessed to sexually battering his children, as well as producing and distributing child pornography.  Three children were rescued from the residence and transported to the Children’s Advocacy Center for an examination and medical treatment.

ICE Federal Agents executed a search warrant and made contact with the subject, who confessed to sexually battering his young children as well as producing and distributing child pornography. The children were located inside the residence and rescued.

ICE Federal Agents executed a search warrant and made contact with the subject, who confessed to sexually battering his young children as well as producing and distributing child pornography. The children were located inside the residence and rescued.

Again the Digital Forensic Unit processed all of the electronic devices recovered through the investigation.  This examination led to the identification of another male subject in Texas that was sexually abusing a child and sharing those images with the subject from Orlando.

ICE Federal Agents executed a search warrant and made contact with the subject, who confessed to sexually battering his young children as well as producing and distributing child pornography. The children were located inside the residence and rescued.

As a direct result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, eight children were rescued from significant and ongoing sexual abuse, which spanned over multiple states. Four suspects have been arrested, each charged with life felonies, both in State and Federal court systems.

Agent Spadafora continued to look through the hundreds of emails and items of evidence and discovered another subject from Melbourne that had previously travelled to the Merritt Island residence and sexually battered the victim.  Agent Spadafora, thinking in advance, had already obtained approval from the original suspect to assume his e-mail identity. Using the email account, Agent Spadafora contacted the subject from Melbourne.  On November 5, 2013, the male replied to this email and volunteered to travel to the residence to again abuse the child.

handcuffed-180-1

As a direct result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, eight children were rescued from significant and ongoing sexual abuse, which spanned over multiple states. Four suspects have been arrested, each charged with life felonies, both in State and Federal court systems.

The surveillance team followed and several other units were set up near the residence to conduct a traffic stop. The Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was also utilized to assist with surveillance. When the suspect turned down the street leading to the residence, he was stopped and subsequently interviewed. He provided a full confession to previously traveling to the residence and sexually battering the child.  He also confessed to traveling to the residence on this date with the expectation of again sexually battering the child. He was arrested.

As a direct result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, eight children were rescued from significant and ongoing sexual abuse, which spanned over multiple states. Four suspects have been arrested, each charged with life felonies, both in State and Federal court systems.

Additionally, there have been over 50 other suspects identified throughout the country that were involved in the distribution of child pornography.  These leads have been sent out to the respective law enforcement agency in each suspects’ area. Those investigations are currently still under investigation.

Agent Spadafora was awarded Deputy of the Year, and two Bars of Merit, for his actions in these investigations.


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