TALLAHASSEE, FL– Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Child Predator CyberCrime Unit made its 44th arrest last night, taking into custody a Marion County man on multiple charges of sexually soliciting a minor over the Internet and transmitting sexually explicit images. Investigators with the CyberCrime Unit and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested Brandon Scott Bellar after he solicited who he thought was a 13 year-old girl, but who was actually an undercover CyberCrime investigator.
“In this highly technical age, we must make every effort to ensure that sex predators are not using modern technology to prey on our children,” said Attorney General McCollum. “Every time we put another predator behind bars, we make Florida a safer place to live and raise our children.”
Bellar, 21, approached the “girl” in an Internet chatroom and after a short period of time, began sexually soliciting her with graphic details.
Bellar also sent the girl graphic sexual images, unaware that he was communicating with an undercover investigator. Investigators with the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Bellar at his Silver Springs residence and later took him into custody.
Bellar admitted that he knowingly solicited the “girl,” even though she had told him early in their conversation that she was only 13 years old. Bellar is currently being held at the Marion County Jail and is charged with three counts of solicitation of a child via an on-line service and one count of transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device. If convicted on all charges, Bellar faces up to 20 years in prison.
The Child Predator CyberCrime Unit’s mission is to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. The unit does this by working cooperatively on a statewide basis with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to provide resources and expertise while preventing the spread of these crimes through education and community awareness. Bellar’s arrest is the 44th made by officers with the unit since its inception in October 2005. The CyberCrime Unit is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) of North Florida and the Jacksonville FBI Office CyberTask Force.
For more information on the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit please visit http://myfloridalegal.com.