Six arrested here in online child sex sting
ROBINSON, Texas (KWTX) – Six arrests were made in a two-day undercover online child sex sting conducted by the Robinson Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Texas Department of Public Safety, authorities said Monday.
All six of the suspects communicated online with detectives posing as minors and agreed to meet for sex in exchange for money, police said in a press release.
When the suspects arrived, they were met by Robinson officers and DPS troopers.
All six of the suspects were from Texas and one traveled from as far as Houston, police said.
Five of the suspect’s were listed in McLennan County Jail records including Oscar Salazar, MD Hossain, Darius Seymour, Rudy Arriola and Korrey Jones,
According to affidavits, the men were charged with second-degree prostitution of someone under the age of 18.
Chief Rich Andreucci said they were arrested during overnight operations on Thursday and Friday.
This was the first big bust for the City of Robinson’s new Chief of Police who was sworn-in less than a week ago.
“I’m really trying to hit the ground running,” said Andreucci. “After I was sworn-in, my sergeant over investigations said, ‘hey, we’ve got this going on.’”
RPD detectives had been planning the sting with DPS agents--Andreucci didn’t stand in the way.
“I can’t take the credit, they did a heck of a job planning this out, it was detailed, it was safe,” Andreucci said of the operation. “The reason that I wanted to sign-off on this and go forth, even though I just started here, was not necessarily the fact of if we arrested one person or 20 people, but I wanted those that may be looking to seek sex with minors online to know that there’s a chance the person they’re talking to on the other end could be a police officer.”
He said at least two of the six arrested first shied away from undercover officers when it was made clear they were meeting someone underage, however, they came back.
“There’s no doubt that the people that showed up at the location knew that they were, one: paying for sex, and two: meeting someone that was underage and not legally able to consent to those acts,” said Andreucci. “They went to a building expected to be greeted by a minor, and instead there were officers inside and outside who were their greeting party.”
The men went to a hotel believing they were meeting underage girls as young as 14, police said.
The Chief says it should serve as a warning, not only to criminals, but also to parents--especially with screen-use up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Maybe people get that courage to maybe toe the line of legal versus illegal when it’s online,” said Andreucci. “I’m a parent and it is impossible to keep track of all the programs that teens use, but still, talk to them, have an open dialogue, hopefully build that trust.”
Andreucci said all the suspects were arrested without incident, and they’d seized some electronic devices in at least two cases, so more charges could surface depending on what’s found on those devices.
“Often times, we’ll find out that these individuals victimized other people and that opens up cases that law enforcement may not know about,” said Andreucci.
The new chief was thankful for the DPS resources and praised the teamwork between the two agencies.
“From me coming in in the middle of it and watching, it was seamless,” he said. “I inherited a great group of officers that understand that none of us operate in a silo and they like working with other agencies, a team can do more than an individual.”
Andreucci said he’d spent his first week on the job getting to know his team and the community they serve.
“It’s been busy, it’s an awesome city, I’ve been doing my best to meet as many people as I can, honestly COVID is slowing a lot of that down, so as soon as it’s safe for people to be out in numbers and groups, you can expect to see me out in the public quite a bit trying to host as many community events as we possibly can,” said Andreucci. “I’m just trying to get to know my officers and the people who make up the criminal justice system here.”
Andreucci said he had a meeting with the District Attorney Tuesday.
He said he came to Robinson because he wanted to be a chief.
“I felt like I was ready to lead a department and when I looked for a department to go to, before I applied, I looked to see if the schools were good, housing costs were good, and if the community was supportive of law enforcement,” Andreucci told KWTX. “Robinson was quickly observed by me that it checked all those boxes and it would be a great place to bring my family.”
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