HomeLaw EnforcementCrimes Against Children Detective arrested for tipping off child predators

Crimes Against Children Detective arrested for tipping off child predators

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Seminole Co. Fla., (July 27, 2023) – The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) today arrested Jose Tirado, a detective assigned to the SCSO Crimes Against Children Unit, on an active warrant for 15 felony charges, including five counts of Unlawful Use Of A Two-Way Communication Device, five counts of Disclosure Or Use Of Confidential Criminal Justice Information, and five counts of Unlawful Use Of A Computer, Network Or
Electronic Device Resulting In The Interruption Or Impairment Of Governmental Operation.

The Sheriff’s Office self-initiated a criminal investigation in April after they discovered Tirado covertly used technology to warn suspects intending to travel to meet minors for sex that they were involved in an undercover operation, allowing them to avoid arrest, and potentially putting other detectives in harm’s way.

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These investigations involved detectives using undercover personas and involved no real child victims. Tirado has been employed with the agency since May 2010, and joined the Crimes Against Unit as a detective in 2015. He was suspended on April 21, 2023, when an Administrative Investigation was initiated. Tirado was booked in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on a $65,000 bond and placed on GPS monitoring this evening and Sheriff Dennis Lemma immediately initiated the process to terminate Tirado’s employment from the
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators determined that someone was warning the subjects to stay away. The initial concern was that they hacked into the crimes against children unit network and were intercepting information.

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However, investigators determined that Detective Tirado repeatedly accessed the platform and even accessed conversations of specific detectives, who had travelers that didn’t show.

When asked to hand over their own work laptops and devices, Tirado was the only detective in the department not to voluntarily hand over his devices.

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In regards to the investigation and arrest, Sheriff Dennis Lemma stated: “You (Tirado) were responsible for investigating allegations of criminal child abuse, neglect and abandonment, and sexual based offenses, against minors, and investigating and apprehending those individuals who would travel to meet a minor for the purposes of sexual activity. You were responsible for protecting the most vulnerable members of our society,
our children, and the actions you are alleged to have committed instead aided those who would seek to victimize children by allowing them to avoid arrest and prosecution.”

Two of the five suspects contacted by text avoided arrest, two were arrested later, and one showed up anyway to meet the girl, who turned out to be an undercover officer.

Photos of active or former sworn, certified, or civilian law enforcement personnel are exempt from public disclosure.

The criminal and administrative investigations are open and ongoing, and the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit, will prosecute the case

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