DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas authorities arrested and charged ten people in a Joint Online Solicitation Operation on Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18.
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree said officers involved in the operation took part in undercover online chats utilizing personal advertisements, covert social media and other platforms to communicate with potential targets looking to have sex with a minor.
Men that agreed to meet were sent to a local location and were met instead by law enforcement and arrested.
Ten men were arrested at the location during the operation and warrants will be obtained for three more individuals that agreed to meet but didn’t show up at the location.
One individual brought what is believed to be drug laced gummy bears to the location.
All suspects have been charged with online solicitation of a minor. ICE has placed an immigration detainer on one suspect. Five of the individuals arrested resided within Denton County, the other suspects came from counties contiguous to Denton County.
The operation was carried out by the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Denton Police Department, University of North Texas Police Department, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Fort Worth Police Department, Wylie Police Department, HSI, Dallas Police Department and, US Navy NCIS.
“This operation was a huge success, I am extremely proud of all the dedicated officers that worked long hours to take these predators off the street. I want to thank all the agencies that participated to make this possible. This type of operation should open the eyes of parents and other citizens to the dangers that lurk on the internet. We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to protect our most precious resource, our kids,” said Sheriff Murphree.