PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A Panama City Beach man was arrested in an undercover operation by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Monday night.
According to a Facebook post by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Gerardo Carreto Cardenas, 56, was arrested in an undercover operation that targets individuals seeking to exploit children online sexually.
Starting in March 2023, Cardenas messaged the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Unit, believing he was communicating with a 15-year-old child.
For several months, Cardenas solicited the child for nude photographs, sent photographs of himself, and offered payment and sums of money. He also expressed a desire to ‘hang out’ with the child, stating he would have sex with the child if they wanted to.
Investigators provided Cardenas with a location, and shortly after took him into custody. Cardenas admitted to being the one communicating with investigators, stating he only wanted to ‘help’ the child and contact their parents.
Cardenas was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex and taken to the Bay County Jail. His bond has been set to $10,000.