Child Online Solicitation Operation Nets Arrests
By Christopher Cook
Posted on December 11, 2019, December 11, 2019

The Arlington Police Department led a special operation which included agency participation from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Tarrant County Sheriff Office last week involving online solicitation of minors. The operation targeted adult suspects online who thought that they were chatting with minor children. During the two-day operation, a total of eight suspects arrived at a location in Arlington and were arrested for felony Online Solicitation of a Minor. A ninth suspect who was waiting inside of a vehicle was arrested for felony drug charges and possession of a firearm.
This was an extensive investigation that required many resources to coordinate the online activities and the field locations where the suspects arrived. In each of the cases, the suspects believed that they were meeting a 13-16 year old minor child at an undisclosed location. There could be more arrests as the three agencies involved have identified 10 additional suspects online who failed to show up at the location. 

“The collaboration between Texas DPS, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and Arlington PD demonstrates our commitment to identifying and arresting these individuals who prey on our most vulnerable victims, our children,” said Police Chief Will Johnson. “We will continue to partner with other law enforcement agencies with these types of operations to send a clear message to the criminal element that we will not tolerate this type of behavior in our community.” 

In Texas, Online Solicitation of a Minor is defined under the Texas Penal Code 33.021 as an offense when a person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person. An offense under this law is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the minor is younger than 14 years of age or is an individual whom the actor believes to be younger than 14 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.

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