MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – Twenty-seven men were busted by a Montgomery County task force for allegedly trying to have sex with minors they met online.
The Montgomery County District Attorney says authorities targeted Internet-based sexual predators during the months of October and November.
They were set up in a sting by the county's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
The suspects include a pastor, a retired dentist and even a Pasadena man on parole for murder.
"There is no profile," said Montgomery County prosecutor Mary Nan Huffman, "The suspects range in ages from 22 years old to 75 years old and come from different backgrounds."
As with other undercover operations, the suspects were arrested as they arrived to meet up with who they thought was a minor previously contacted online. They were met by cops instead.
Some of the suspects were also charged with the felony offenses of possession of child pornography and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Investigators say the focus of this operation was on popular cell phone apps like Tinder, Grindr, Whisper, Kik and What's App.
"They try to put age limits [on these apps] but all you have to do is click 'I'm 18,'" said Huffman.
The task force consists of officers from the Conroe Police Department, all five of the Montgomery County Constable's Offices (Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5), the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety, U.S. Marshals, the Texas Attorney General's Office.
The Montgomery County ICAC Task Force asks that anyone with information concerning illegal conduct or other potential victims by these suspects to call the ICAC Tip Line at 936-760-6910.