An Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force effort, led by the Harris County Precinct One Constable's Office, leads to the arrest of nine men during the months of February and March.
During a series of online undercover chat operations, the men were identified as suspect who attempted to meet teens for sex.
Investigators say one of the suspects, 75-year-old Williard Joe Billings, rode a METRO bus from north Houston to where he believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl for sex. Once he walked off the bus, he used a motorized scooter to travel to where he was supposed to meet the girl on March 20. He fell off the scooter but then rode it to where he was later arrested.
Billings was charged with suspicion of online solicitation of a minor.
"This paints a clear picture that child predators will travel any distance and by any means to reach a child who they have targeted as their prey,” said Harris County Precinct One Constable Alan Rosen.
Billings, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, admitted to investigators that his phone contained child pornography.
Another operation in late February ended with the arrests of eight men who believed they were chatting with minors online. The men were actually chatting with undercover law enforcement officers.
Pct. 1 says the goal of the undervcover operations was "to identify and apprehend adults using the internet and social media to sexually exploit children by soliciting sex or sex-related acts."
Suspect Eduardo Salazar drove from San Antonio to meet who he believed would be a teen girl, according to Pct. 1.
Kelvin Mcleod Jr., who was employed as a security guard, was also identified as a suspect.
Michael Schurz, a former minor league baseball player, was named as a suspect and worked with children as a baseball instructor.
The potential sentence for a felony conviction of online solicitation of a minor can range from probation or 2-to-20 years in prison.
Other law enforcement agencies who assisted in the effort include the Houston Police Department, Harris County Precinct Five Constable's Office, Katy ISD Police Department, Humble Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and Cypress Creek Tactical EMS.