A recent sting operation led to a string of criminal indictments. Between January 23-24, 2019, thirteen suspects in Denton County were arrested on charges of online solicitation of a minor. Since those arrests took place, 11 of the 13 suspects have been officially indicted of up to at least one charge.
A sting operation is a deceptive operation which is designed to catch someone who is committing a crime. This particular operation was part of a larger Joint Online Solicitation Operation which also previously arrested ten people in July 2018.
Police went undercover via dating websites and applications to pose as minors under the age of seventeen. After engaging in an Internet conversation, the unsuspecting men agreed to meet with the fictitious minor at a location to engage in sexual acts. Upon arrival at the agreed upon address, the suspects were surprised to be surrounded by law enforcement personnel. Various local, state, and federal agencies aided in the January arrests. Several police departments as well as the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement were present.
All suspects allegedly attempted to meet with a minor to engage in sexual activities. And yes, they had all been made aware that their victims were younger than seventeen.