A Fort Pierce man will spend nearly two years in jail for driving to Brevard for a sex romp with a minor. Melvin Adams Jr, 70, was one of eleven men arrested in a 2013 internet sting operation conducted by Brevard County Sheriffs.
Judge Charles Roberts swept aside the defense attorney’s appeal for leniency, and sentenced Adams according to state guidelines.
Speaking at the sentencing hearing Friday, in Viera, Adams told the judge his life had been devastated by the arrest. He explained that he was playing along with the scheme in order to locate the victim and rescue him.
Adams said, in the past, he worked at a housing facility and often came in contact with youths who were prostituting themselves. On occasion, he would take a personal interest in them, try to find out where they lived, and attempt to help them. He said he drove to Brevard because he was concerned for the well-being of the fourteen year-old who was apparently being trafficked by his older brother: “…I thought I was trying to keep some kid from getting raped”, he said.
Prosecutors said Adams was explicit about the sex acts he wanted to perform on the teen, and incriminated himself in several emails, as well as a phone conversation secretly recorded by investigators. They said Adams repeatedly asked the adult if he was a member of law enforcement.
Brevard Sheriffs arrested Adams during an internet decoy effort called “Operation Sand Spider. Working with members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, agents placed ads in Craigslist and other social media sites, posing as adults seeking sex with other adults. While chatting privately with the respondents, the decoy officer would offer sex with a fourteen year-old. Interested parties were invited to a rental house in Rockledge, where deputies would spring their trap. The week-long operation was concluded July 25th 2013.
Adams will serve twenty-one months in jail, followed by ten years of probation. He will be registered as a sex offender for life. Court Monitors with Protect Our Children were in attendance January 23, at the Moore Justice Center in Viera.