CLEBURNE – In a crackdown on child predators, the Texas attorney general’s Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) conducted a joint operation with several law enforcement agencies last week, arresting five north Texas men for Online Solicitation of a Minor, a second-degree felony. The collaboration by authorities included the Texas Attorney General’s CEU, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson County STOP Task Force, Cleburne Police Department, Burleson Police Department and Keene Police Department.
During the weeklong operation, CEU investigators conducted undercover investigations online posing as children. The five suspects were arrested after they solicited individuals they believed to be under 17 years of age for sexual contact. Individuals arrested by CEU investigators during the joint operation are: Drew Patrick McDonald, James Gilbert Hayes, Scott Fitzgerald Marestein, Casey Tito Rodriguez and Patrick Shawn Powell.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online. The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources. Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.