The Texas attorney general’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) joined with the national ICAC task force in “Operation Broken Heart II.” The operation, which included federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, resulted in the arrest of 17 alleged child predators.
“Because of the tireless efforts of our law enforcement officials, we are taking dangerous predators who are stalking our children off the internet and off the street,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Protecting Texas families and communities from sex offenders who target our most vulnerable is one of the most important duties of this office. We will remain dedicated to rigorously investigating and prosecuting these criminals who seek to exploit children online.”
During the two-month operation, the AG’s office executed twelve search warrants across the state of Texas. These warrants led to the arrests of seventeen suspected child predators. Charges ranged from possession and promotion of child pornography to engaging of minors online for sexual purposes.
Eleven of the seventeen suspects came from arrests in Coryell County near Kileen and Fort Hood.
The 17 suspects arrested by Texas Attorney General’s ICAC officers include:
- Luis Gerard Rivera-Sepulveda, 46, arrested April 17 in Bell County
- Dylan Hosmer, 45, arrested April 22 in Williamson County
- Joshua David Luna, 23, arrested April 23 in Uvalde County
- Kelly Shane Hopper, 31, arrested May 3 in Coryell County
- Jesus Antonio Aboytes-Mendoza, 27, arrested May 5 in Coryell County
- Joseph Allen Hosler, 26, arrested May 5 in Coryell County
- Justin Logan Perez, 21, arrested May 5 in Coryell County
- Steven Anthony Blankenship, 26, arrested May 6 in Coryell County
- Steven Lee Merrill, 34, arrested May 6 in Coryell County
- Jason Lee Smith, 34, arrested May 7 in Coryell County
- Martin Kenneth Edwards, Jr., 21, arrested May 7 in Coryell County
- Matthew John McVaney, 21, arrested May 7 in Coryell County
- Robert Thomas Duven, 51, arrested May 7 in Coryell County
- Ronald Eugene Lowrey, 44, arrested May 12 in Nueces County
- Francisco Jaczan, 47, arrested May 14 in Nueces County
- Jacob Mathew Marcum, 37, arrested May 14 in Coryell County
- Justin Benedict Morales, 40, arrested May 21 in Tom Green County
This news comes on the heels of another successful operation where the Texas AG’s office worked with the Copperas Cove Police Department. This joint sting operation landed nine suspected child predators behind bars.
“Days like this is where you realize we’re putting away people who would otherwise be affecting our children,” Paxton said in an article on KCEN-TV. The men aged from 21-51 and included three Fort Hood soldiers. One suspect was confirmed to be a former employee of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas. These nine are included in the total of seventeen statewide arrests.
During last year’s operation, more than 275 predators were arrested nationally. Nearly ten percent of those were arrested in Texas, according to the Texas AG’s Office.
Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to realize the risks our children face online, and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety. For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.