Officers arrested eight men in Arlington during a two-day operation targeting adults who thought they were chatting with minors online, police say.
The investigation was a joint operation between the Arlington Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office, Arlington police said. The men believed they were chatting online with a minor child between 13 and 16 years old, police said.
Police arrested Francisco Carreon, Davion Carter, Enrico Garcia, Michael Owonifari, Christopher Pintek, Joshua Price, Brian Watt and Christian Weitmann and charged them with online soliciation of a minor.
A ninth man, 38-year-old Richard Wilson, drove one of the suspects to the location where he thought he was meeting a minor and was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and unlawful carrying of a weapon, police said. Wilson was not charged with solicitation of a minor.
"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," Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said. "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."
Police said there could be more arrests in connection to the operation, as they identified 10 other suspects who did not arrive at the location.