Florida Man Travels to Meet up With Underage Girl for Sex, Is Confronted by Her Parents Instead—Police

A Florida man who allegedly tried to use a chat app to solicit sex from a teenager was lured by police and the child's parents to a gas station—where he was swiftly arrested.

Joseph Aaron Stream, 27, was detained by deputies from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office on October 11. The parents contacted authorities to report they had learned of his intent to travel from Palm Coast to East Palatka to meet with their child, WJAX reported.

The police investigation was sparked in September, when the parents of the victim discovered messages had been sent via Facebook Messenger attempting to solicit sex from their daughter, the sheriff's office said in a public information release.

The plot was traced back to Stream, linked to an address in Flagler County, and a sting operation was set up that would later see him apprehended. The parents and teenager remain unnamed.

The suspect, who believed he was still conversing with the child, traveled from Palm Coast to the Raceway Gas Station in East Palatka with "the intent to engage in sexual activity," police said. But when he arrived he did not meet with the teenager. Instead, he was confronted by the victim's parents and deputies from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

It takes roughly 45 minutes to travel from Palm Coast to Palatka by car.

Police said Stream was arrested at the scene on two counts of traveling to meet a child for sexual purposes, one count of using a communications device to facilitate a felony and violation of probation. He was transported to the Putnam County Jail, initially without bond.

Deputy police chief Joseph Wells said Stream was on already probation from Flagler County for previous charges of battery on a police officer and resisting an officer with violence.

His arrest bond was set at $75,000 according to jail inmate records. The charges were confirmed using an online portal of the county clerk's office. The investigation continues.

In Florida, online solicitation of a minor is considered to be a second-degree felony and can lead to up to 15 years in prison, another 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine, according to the website of Musca Law, a criminal defense law firm based in the state.

On the specific charge, Orlando criminal attorney Richard Hornsby explains online that a count of traveling to meet a minor for unlawful sex is also a second-degree felony which carries penalties of up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

"Each separate use of a computer, online service, Internet service, or electronic device can be charged as a separate criminal offense," Hornsby explained in a fact sheet.

"If you use a computer on four separate occasions to discuss engaging in unlawful sex with a person believed to be a minor, you can be charged with four separate counts," he added.

Joseph Aaron Stream
Mugshot: Joseph Aaron Stream Putnam County Sheriff’s Office