HONOLULU (KHON2) — Do you know who is on the other side of the screen? It is a big warning for parents after one of the biggest operations over the weekend led to the arrest of 13 men, accused of trying to meet or pay to have sex with minors. 

The Hawaii Internet Crime Against Task Force Commander Edward Arias called on parents to know who their children are talking to online. 

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Arias said, “The predators know that’s where they are going to target the kids today, so that is a growing problem.”

Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan said the suspects were arrested for commercial sexual exploitation of a minor and electronic enticement of a child. 

Logan said, “This week’s arrest confirms what we in law enforcement know too well, that there are many individuals who will seek out and prey on the most vulnerable in our community.”

Officials said the 13 men thought they were messaging with minors online, but in reality, they were communicating with the officers who led them to an arrest. 

Arias said, “Not good intentions I mean they are trying to have sexual relations with minors.”

Arias said minors are more connected to the internet than ever before, and he encourages parents to stay on top of their children’s online activity. 

“I used to say do not put a computer in a child’s room, put it in the living room where everyone can see,” Arias said. “But now most of this stuff that’s going on, it’s not on the computer, it’s on cellphone and other methods… so you really need to have that line of communication with your child.”

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The nine civilian men were charged by the Attorney General’s office, while the four military members will go through the military justice system.