Former PGA golfer Steve Thomas was among 40 men arrested during “Operation Red Cheeks,” a week-long undercover sting by the Osceola County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office last week aimed at capturing adults soliciting sex with minors through the Internet.
Thomas, 55, has played in 78 tournaments on the PGA and Champions tours, finishing in the top 10 three times. His most recent tournament appearance was in 2010.
As part of the operation, which apparently followed the mold of a “To Catch a Predator” Dateline special, suspects chatted with undercover detectives posing as children, parents or guardians in online chat rooms and were invited to meet at a disclosed location where the suspects expected to engage in sex with minors. Often times suspects voluntarily sent graphic photos of a sexual nature, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Via the Orlando Sentinel, here are the shocking, “C’mon Man!” details of Thomas’ arrest:
His arrest affidavit states Thomas thought he was chatting with a woman about sex with her 13-year-old daughter. He agreed to meet the teen for sex, deputies say, and sent photos of himself golfing.
Investigators searched Thomas’ sport utility vehicle after his arrest, the affidavit states, finding three condoms, two packages of chocolate pudding and a bottle of honey. Deputies say he confessed.
Condoms? Chocolate? Honey? Chris Hansen is furious he wasn’t able to be there with a camera crew.