Illinois man arrested in Katy after online sting


He was arrested around 9pm Tuesday near a gas station in the 3500 block of Pin Oak after a two-week undercover sting.

Investigators say the 49-year-old man was having sexually explicit conversations online with a 14-year-old girl and later a sheriff's detective who he apparently thought was that same teen.

James Wean, Jr., 49, is accused of attempted aggravated kidnapping. Investigators say he drove over 900 miles from his home in Pearl City, Illinois all the way to the shopping center near Katy.

"I believe his intentions were to come and pick up this 14-year-old girl and take her somewhere," Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Bob Haenel said.

Detectives say they pretended to be that 14-year-old girl for two weeks after her family discovered, on Facebook, sexually explicit and suggestive messages Wean had allegedly sent to her. The girl's parents alerted the sheriff's office, which then set up the sting.

"I think it's disgusting. It makes me really glad that law enforcement is being proactive, trying to catch these people," concerned resident Pamela Curry said.

Investigators would not tell us what exactly Wean had written. But they say it is clear he intended to take the teen back to Illinois then maybe into Canada. They say the 49-year-old thought he and the girl could be together.

Wean is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail on a $500,000 bond with conditions. Should Wean make bond, he will have to surrender his passport, wear a tracking device and he cannot make contact with the victim or victim's family.

Copyright © 2023 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.