Nearly a dozen men were arrested for allegedly trying to have sex with minors, all from Texas, the Fort Worth Police Department announced in a Facebook post.
The Fort Worth Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit worked in cooperation with local, state, and federal agencies on a three-day “Online Solicitation Sting Operation” to arrest 11 male Texas residents in early June 2023. Each of the suspects was charged with one or more counts of online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony in Texas.
The media alert stated that authorities used several online platforms to communicate with individuals who were “actively seeking to engage in sexual conduct with children under the age of 17.”
According to police, 42-year-old Daniel Alford of Fort Worth is a registered sex offender who went to a location where he allegedly thought he was going to have sex with a 15-year-old. Alford allegedly spoke sexually with a law enforcement agent he thought he was 16 years old.
Other Fort Worth suspects include 24-year-old Joshua Whitfield, who allegedly thought he was meeting a 16-year-old girl for sex. This was also allegedly true of Jimmy Johns, a 52-year-old. Whitfield was already on probation for a robbery case.
A fourth Fort Worth suspect, Christopher Upton, 29, is accused of having attempted to meet a 16-year-old for sex, as well.
Lyle Campbell-Gergen, a 34-year-old from North Richland Hills, Texas, allegedly believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl, while Kristofer Kane of Richmond Hills, Texas, allegedly believed he was meeting a 16-year-old girl for sex, according to authorities. Kane is 23 years old.
Along with 33-year-old Kautik Patel of Cleburne, Texas, even a 19-year-old was allegedly caught trying to meet someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl. The teen, Aaurje Henderson, hails from Bedford, Texas.
In addition, Jonathan Bailey, a 26-year-old from Garland, Texas, and Joshua Blackmon, a 24-year-old from Aubrey, Texas, were allegedly arrested for attempting to meet a 16-year-old for sex.
The only accused man not to have his mugshot shared by authorities was Brian Swift. The 55-year-old allegedly sent explicit pictures of himself to someone he thought was a 16-year-old girl.
Multiple law enforcement agencies took part in the sting, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration Customs and Enforcement, as well as several local police departments.
The Fort Worth Police Department did not immediately respond to request for comment about the arrests. This article will be updated with any relevant responses.
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