HOUSTON — More than a dozen alleged online child predators were arrested last week as a part of a three-day sting operation in various areas of southeast Houston, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
The office’s High Tech Crime Unit reported 25 men had been arrested including a man who investigators said brought his 2-year-old son with him to meet one of the victims. The same man was out on bond for unrelated charges, officers said. Internet predators who engage in the online solicitation of minors were the focus of the investigation, deputies said.
Investigators said another alleged predator was a licensed security officer who identified himself online as a Fort Bend County police officer, and arrived with condoms and alcoholic beverages.
During the course of the investigation the HTCU and its partners operated in an area of southeast Harris County and identified persons who communicated with children in a sexually explicit manner using social media applications and the internet.
Investigators said the men made arrangements to meet with underage children for the purpose of sexual assault but were stopped by law enforcement.
Some of the men arrived to the scene armed, officer said. However, no injuries were made during the arrest.
Several other law enforcement agencies participated in the sting including the Houston Police Department and Deer Park Police Department.
Harris County officials said all 25 men are being held at the Harris County jail on charges of online solicitation of a minor, which is a second degree felony. The men’s bails range from $20,000 to no bail at all.