'Operation Home Alone' targets five suspects wanted for soliciting sex with underage girl

Nick Tomecek
Northwest Florida Daily News

A joint law enforcement sting effort targeting individuals soliciting sex with an underage girl led to five arrests during “Operation Home Alone.”

All five suspects are charged with using a computer to solicit a minor, traveling to meet a minor for sex, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony, according to a press release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

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Suspects arrested:

  • Gabriel Petty, 21, of Shalimar
  • Robert Peterson, 24, of Fort Walton Beach
  • Teswayne Hanna, 27, of Destin
  • Cody Jones, 26, of Laurel Hill
  • Phillip Rugg, 37, of Opp, Alabama

Jones faces an additional charge of attempted production of child pornography by asking for sexual images, OCSO officials said.

During “Operation Home Alone” between Dec. 14-18, the five defendants solicited an undercover officer, posing as a 14-year-old juvenile female, for sexual encounters via social media platforms and traveled to a predetermined location to have sex with the girl, OCSO said.

The OCSO, Fort Walton Beach Police Department, Crestview Police Department, State Attorney’s Office, and Walton County Sheriff’s Office took part.