CLEBURNE — In 2015, it seems like everyone and everything is on the Internet. Sometimes, it’s all too easy to forget that it’s not all memes and cat videos out there.
Just ask Cmdr. Adam King of the STOP Task Force.
“Any means of communication over the Internet is a potential door into your home for a sex offender,” King said Monday.
He was speaking at a press conference, announcing the results of a Johnson County undercover sting operation last week — an operation that shows there’s a downright scary number of sexual predators right here in the metroplex.
“The operation was a success in the sense that we arrested 16 individuals that were coming into our communities here in Johnson County with the intent of raping our children,” King explained.
That’s right, in just one week, 16 men allegedly made plans online to meet up with what they thought were 14 and 15-year-old girls to have sex with them.
“Of course, when they arrived at the meeting location, they were met by police officers and promptly arrested,” said King.
The suspects who showed up ranged from 21 to 67 and traveled to Johnson County from all over North Texas.
Among them was 30-year-old Jonathan Leever, a registered sex offender who was found guilty in 2008 on two counts of online solicitation of a minor under 14 — the same charge he and the other 15 suspects now face.
Another note from the press conference, some of the suspects were arrested with drugs in their possession and one even had a gun on them!
King remarked, “These are not good people.”
He says this wasn’t a one-time operation either. The training his officers received will allow them to continue these operations. They intend to do just that, as long as there are predators to catch.
“The true measure of a successful operation would have been that we caught none of these, that there would have been nobody online soliciting who they thought were children for sex,” King said. “We just have to take some comfort in the fact that we got 16 of these people off the streets.”