Cleveland Police arrest sex offender

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Cleveland, TN (WDEF) – Cleveland Police say investigators identified, found and arrested a Facebook sexual predator.

They arrested sex offender Michael Caricofe.

The investigation started in September when the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children got a tip that Michael Thorsett was preying on young boys on Facebook.

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Cleveland Police then started an undercover investigation.

They say Thorsett communicated with the undercover detective online who was posing as a 12-year-old boy. "He chatted with Mr. Caricofe for about a week," said Evie West, Cleveland Police Dept. public information officer, "According to Detective Henson the conversation turned sexual in nature very quickly."

Law enforcement got a subpoena for the Thorsett’s IP address and identified him as registered sex offender Michael Caricofe.

They then got a search warrant and found several electronic devices at Caricofe’s home.

Caricofe was arrested for 6 sex offender registry violation and solicitation of a minor and taken to the Bradley County Justice Center Friday.

“We take these crimes very serious," said West, "and we’re very proactive in our approach in catching these predators in hopes of getting them off the streets and keep our community safe.”

Cleveland Police ask if anyone is aware of their children having contact with this sex offender to call Detective Daniel Gibbs at 423-559-3393.