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Soda, Candy, and Cash Used in Sex Trafficking Scheme

A Florida man accused of having sexual encounters with a teenage girl allegedly used snacks and $150 as an offering when unknowingly interacting with an undercover agent during a sting operation.

Gregory Thomas Garcia is a 34-year-old man who resides in Orange Park.

As reported by the authorities, Garcia began communicating online with a 16-year-old girl in a purported effort to arrange sexual encounters.

Garcia allegedly reached out to the teen via text messages and Snapchat when trying to set up the meetings, and several of the encounters reportedly took place inside of his vehicle.

During an investigation performed by Homeland Security, agents reported it was discovered that Garcia might be using the internet to sexually victimize a teenage girl.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office distributed the information gathered by Homeland Security, and deputies located and reached out to the young woman they believed was the victim to try to learn more about the situation with Garcia.

When the teen spoke with them, she reportedly told the police that she and Garcia had met over 20 times and had sexual encounters for which she was given cash.

The authorities asked for the girl’s electronic devices so they could search through any content relevant to the alleged sexual abuse.

The affidavit depicts snippets of chats between someone the authorities believe was Garcia expressing love to the person assumed to be the alleged victim.

Undercover agents used the teenager’s accounts to interact with the person she had reportedly been in contact with to try to set up a time and date to meet.

It was reported that Garcia agreed to provide $150, a soda, and a pack of Starburst candy in exchange for sexual acts to the officer acting as the alleged victim.

When he arrived at the agreed-upon location Garcia was told he had a warrant out for his arrest, and he was taken into custody.

Garcia is facing charges for suspicion of commercial sex trafficking of a child.

If he is found guilty of the allegations he could spend 10-years to life behind bars.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a sexual offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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