CLEBURNE (CBSDFW.COM) – Police officers in Johnson County nabbed more than a dozen men accused of going online to meet underage boys and girls. The Texas Attorney General’s Office Child Exploitation Unit, Johnson County Special Crimes Unit and Sheriff’s Office, and the Cleburne and Burleson Police departments all participated in the 4-day undercover sting.READ MORE: Cowboys Lead Saints 20-10 In 4th Quarter
Officials confirmed that 16 suspected child predators were taken into custody. All of the suspects were men and went to Johnson County from all across North Texas.
The suspects allegedly used social media chat rooms to hold conversations and arrange meetings with potential victims at parks and neighborhoods in Cleburne and Burleson.
The suspects are accused of looking online for sex with minors. Instead, they met up with police officers posing as 14- and 15-year-old boys and girls.
Officials called the sting the most successful operation they’ve ever seen. Commander Adam King, with Stop The Offender Special Crimes Unit, said, “It’s scary. It is… whenever we say it was a successful operation the true measure of a successful operation would have been that we caught none of those people.”READ MORE: Government Shutdown Averted: US Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill
After the arrests King expressed his frustration that so many men were caught so quickly. “It was very troubling whenever I realized what they were coming here to do. It made me mad to be honest. I was very upset. I don’t like the fact that they would come here or anywhere else to do that.”
The 16 suspects now faces charges of online solicitation. They have been identified as:
— 21-year-old Alexander Dean Pittsinger from Mansfield.
— 46-year-old Lance Cee Morgan from Rhome.
— 30-year-old Christopher James Hardt from Benbrook.
— 67-year-old James Clinton Hice from Colleyville.
— 24-year-old Brandon Tyler Hudgens from Plano.
— 25-year-old Bryant Allen Tankersley from Glen Rose.
— 31-year-old Peter Walter Teubner from Arlington.
— 37-year-old Michael Dale Reighley from Mesquite.
— 25-year-old Daniel Ivan Gonzalez from Denton.
— 26-year-old Juan Pedro Tano-Diaz from Garland.
— 30-year-old Jonathan Kent Leever from Lewisville.
— 22-year-old Bryant Michael Lorenzo Colley from Fort Worth.
— 30-year-old William Patrick Barnett from Eddy.
— 35-year-old Bob Edmond Cooper from Lake Dallas.
— 25-year-old Shelby Stuart Laughton from Midlothian.
— 24-year-old Alexis Lee Spurlock from Cleburne.
At least one of the suspects — Leever — is a registered sex offender in Lewisville. Laughton and Colley had illegal drugs with them when they were arrested, and Colley even had a pistol.