FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Undercover officers arrested 11 people and secured warrants for four more for trying to solicit minors online for sex in Tarrant County.
Officers used personal ads, covert social media and communication platforms to communicate with potential targets looking to have sex with a minor under the age of 17.
The suspects were arrested and charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor, which is a third degree felony. If a minor is younger than 14 years old, or is an individual whom the suspect believes to be younger than 14 years old at the time of the crime, the charge is a second degree felony. There were also three counts of endangering and three counts of making a firearm accessible and one count of Unlawful Possession of a firearm.
Police say Mikel Adam Couch, 25, thought he was meeting a 15-year-old girl. He gave consent to search his cellular telephone and he showed investigators four videos of child pornography. He was also charged for that crime. Couch consented to a DPS tactical polygraph.
Police said Gilmar Coutinho Darosa, 39, believed he was meeting a 13-year-old. He is a Brazilian national and was on probation for a previous sexual assault with a child charge.
Christopher Dave Dieterich, 37, allegedly wanted to meet a 15-year-old for sex. He consented to a DPS polygraph.
Jose Manuel Guzman Hernandez, 29, is a Mexican national. Police said he believed he was meeting with a 13-year-old girl. He’s now on an ICE detainer.
Police said Christopher Alan Hodge, 44, believed he was meeting with a 15-year-old girl. He also had an outstanding warrant for Assault/Family Violence. Hodge is homeless and used a smartphone and dating social media app to link up with who he thought was the teen.
Stephen Kyle Honza, 34, consented to a DPS tactical polygraph after he was caught trying to meet up with an undercover officer acting as a 15-year-old girl.
Stephen Polo Romo, 23 believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl, according to police. He consented to a DPS tactical polygraph. Romo also initiated contact with undercover officers by asking how much money was needed to have sex. He was also charged with Prostitution of a child under 18. Investigators also discovered child pornography on his phone and a warrant will be written at a later date.
Gerald Eugene Weishun II, 37, thought he was meeting a 13-year-old girl for sex. Police said he took a polygraph.
The Fort Worth Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Unit worked with the Department of Public Safety, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, Arlington Police Department and other various federal agencies.
Polygraphs were given to willing participants to determine if there are additional victims.