Sunday, May 31, 2009

7 men arrested in Houston child predator sting

And more are expected, authorities say

Seven men were arrested on Friday in a sting targeting child predators and more arrests are expected, authorities said.

Over the past two weeks, investigators with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children have posed as teenagers in online chat rooms while talking to men.

“We never initiate conversations with the individuals. They suggest meeting for sex,” said Eric Devlin, of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, part of the federally funded task force.

“We tell them that we’re a 13-year-old female from Houston,” Devlin said. “They go, ‘Oh that’s great. That’s what I’m looking for.' ”

Before agreeing to meet, the investigators asked the men to give their names and describe themselves.

“Most of these guys sent us pictures, so we knew exactly who was coming,” Devlin said.

Suspect Travis Chapman, 39, brought his roommate to a location in Spring where investigators were waiting, officials said.

Also arrested was Joshua Clayton, 18, who claimed during an online chat session to be a woman and former porn actress, authorities said.

“He wanted us to go on the webcam and model. He said he would pay us for it,” Devlin said.

Omair Khan, 26, lives with his parents in Houston and asked them to drop him off at a north Harris County Dairy Queen, where he thought an underage girl was waiting for him, officials said.

Mark Edward Welch, 21, and James Raymond Watters, 26, were also arrested.

The names of the others were not available.

The men were all charged with multiple counts of online solicitation of a minor. Some have been released on bail while others remain in custody at the Harris County Jail.

More may follow 7 arrests in Houston child predator sting Houston & Texas News - Houston Chronicle

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