The Collin County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and five other federal, state and local agencies, arrested and charged 13 individuals with felony counts of online solicitation of a minor after a three-day undercover operation.
Officers also seized electronic devices used by the suspects which will be forensically examined by the Child Exploitation Unit for evidence.
Additional charges and arrests are expected.
According to a news release dated April 7, two of the suspects had child pornography on their devices at the time of their arrest. One suspect was out on bond from a September 2020 arrest in Dallas for sexual assault of a child, and another was a New York resident visiting the Metroplex on a business trip. One individual was armed with a pistol when he showed up to meet with an individual whom he thought was a minor.
“I want to thank the Operation Hercules participants for their hard work and dedication in apprehending this group of sexual predators,” said Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner. “These subjects are sophisticated in their use of technology and online forums, which they utilize to target and communicate with our youth. Parents should talk to their children about their devices, how they use them, why they are talking to and what they see online. Check regularly. Give children an opportunity to tell you if they fell something may be wrong. Finally, I want criminals to know that in Collin County, we won’t tolerate those who look to exploit our children.”
The following law enforcement agencies assisted in the operation: Texas Department of Public Safety, Plano Police Department, Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Offices, McKinney Police Department, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and DFPS Child Protective Investigations.
From Staff Reports • [email protected]