By Noah Fromson - Staff
A three-month sting operation led to the arrests of 28 alleged online predators, officials said Tuesday.
The undercover operation, conducted by the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, began in April and targeted adults trying to lure minors into sexual encounters online.
Police said 19 of the 28 men arrested were charged with online solicitation of a minor, a felony offense. These men believed they were meeting with minors they met online. But they were arrested immediately when they arrived at the predetermined meeting spots.
Some men were also charged with possession of child pornography after evidence surfaced during the operation. One man was arrested for sexually assaulting a child, and another for trying to give a child drugs.
This sting is part of a long-term project, Task Force Division Chief Mary Nan Huffman said.
“The effectiveness of this task force is reflected by these predators being arrested and charged,” Huffman said. “We will continue these efforts until these offenders realize that you do not prey on the children of Montgomery County."
The task force is made up of officers from multiple police departments, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security.
Anyone with information concerning potential victims or suspects should call the ICAC Tip Line at 936-760-6910.