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Seminole County detective arrested, accused of tipping off suspects in child-sex sting

A detective in the Crimes Against Children Unit at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office was arrested Thursday on suspicion of tipping off would-be online predators.

The Sheriff's Office says 47-year-old Jose Luis Tirado secretly used a texting app to warn suspects who were planning to meet a child for sex during an undercover sting.

One text that investigators attribute to Tirado says: "Consider this your get out of jail card, enjoy your life."

Tirado was arrested on a warrant. He has already entered pleas of not guilty, according to online court records.

He faces 15 felony charges involving five alleged tip-offs. The charges are:

- unlawful use of a two-way communication device,

- disclosure or use of confidential criminal justice information, and

- unlawful use of a computer, network or electronic device resulting in the interruption or impairment of governmental operation.

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.

Tirado is a 13-year veteran of the department but was suspended in April while his case was investigated. The sheriff has begun the process of firing him.

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Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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