Months after prison release, Florida sex offender has sex with missing teen, deputies say

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BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — A sex offender released from a Florida prison in July was arrested again last week for having sex with a missing Pinellas County teenager, deputies said.

Flor-Adam Brandon Cruz, 24, was one of 22 men arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office during “Operation Social Bust,” where detectives posed as underage girls and boys to locate sexual predators.

In September, an undercover detective posing as a 15-year-old girl came in contact with Cruz after he initiated a conversation online. Deputies said Cruz sent explicit messages describing the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the underage girl.

Cruz, a high-risk sex offender who was just released from state prison in July, was on felony probation until 2032 for lewd and lascivious battery on a minor.

After a search of Cruz’s phone, the sheriff’s office said detectives found a real 15-year-old girl Cruz was engaging in sex with.

Detectives learned Cruz used Uber to transport the teenager, who was reported as missing out of Pinellas County, to his home to have sex with her on two separate occasions. Cruz allegedly filmed the sexual acts, which were found on his cellphone.

“It sickens me that this convicted sex offender continued to prey on children even after serving time in prison for his heinous acts,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Had it not been for the thorough investigative work of our detectives well after Operation Social Bust ended, we would have never known about this juvenile who Cruz was taking advantage of repeatedly.”

Cruz is facing a slew of charges:

  • Using computer services/devices to solicit certain illegal acts
  • Unlawful use of a two-way communications device
  • Transmission of harmful material to a minor
  • Violation of probation
  • Lewd and lascivious battery (3 counts)
  • Promotion of a sexual performance by a child
  • Interference with child custody
  • Traveling to meet a minor after using computer services/devices to solicit certain illegal acts (2 counts)

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