Sting targeting internet predators nets 23 arrests, announces Ft. Bend Co. sheriff

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The men, all accused of trying to solicit children online, were arrested in a month-long sting, the Ft. Bend County Sheriff's Office said (KTRK)

Twenty-three men accused of trying to solicit children online were arrested in a month-long sting, announced the Ft. Bend County Sheriff's Office Thursday morning.

The men come from a variety of backgrounds. One of the suspects, Mehm Gozegir, is a Ph.D. fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center.

PHOTOS: Mug shots of those arrested


When we knocked on Gozegir's door, his roommate answered. Mohammed Sultany told us that Gozegir was at work. He said his roommate was arrested about two weeks ago. However, Sultany said he was told it was for speeding.

"I'm really shocked about this," said Sultany, who only moved in as a roommate six months ago.

Law enforcement won't tell us how long they have worked on the sting. We do know that the sheriff's office worked on the sting, along with the Missouri City Police Department, Katy ISD police and Sugar Land police. The objective was to identify and arrest individuals engaging in the solicitation or online sexual exploitation of children through social media. Officers with the Internet Crimes against Children task force identified the suspects through communication on social media.

"These aren't the deep dark corners of the Internet that only certain people know about," said Sgt. Jarret Nethery. "These are areas of the Internet that children have access."

Darrell Helton, of Sugar Land, is another suspect. He lives in a quiet subdivision filled with dogs, kids and families. Eyewitness News knocked on his door. Helton opened the door, but slammed it shut as soon as we identified ourselves.

His neighbors sensed something was wrong, but wasn't sure what.

"He's nice guy," said neighbor Rita Ali. "He never complained. Though right now I don't know, (there are) a lot of people coming and going."

Investigators say these suspects have only one commonality: looking for underage sex online.

Gozegir has been placed on leave by Baylor College of Medicine pending the outcome of an investigation. His roommate remains stunned.

"We watched movies, and we go to cinema. I really don't know, when did he do that," Sultany said.

The following is a list of those arrested, including the name, age, hometown, charges and bond totals:

    - Dewayne Brown, 38, Conroe, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $40,000;
    - Brendan Munoz, 30, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $40,000;
    - Jose Romero, 30, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $40,000; and
    - Brandon Webb, 38, Pearland, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Sexual Assault of a Child, $40,000.

    - William Eisenberg, 28, Fresno, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Possession of Marijuana, Outstanding warrant for FMFR, No Bail;
    - Mehmet Gozegir, 26, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $50,000;
    - Udoka Nwankwo, 25, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Jovane Luna, 30, Spring Branch, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Evading Arrest Detention, and Possession of Marijuana, $83,500;
    - Dillon Moy, 25, Splendora, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon;
    - Robert Alden, 29, Texas City, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child; and
    - Darrell Helton, Sugar Land, Online Solicitation of a Minor, $40,000.
    - Ricky Sherman, 59, Pasadena, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Maurel Watson, Katy, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Rolando Hernandez, 24, Cypress, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Stane Moundounga, 33, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Samuel Zendejas, 31, Richmond (Parole Violation), Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000;
    - Ricky Alley, 56, Sugar Land, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $60,000;
    - Mitchell Pelham, 29, Richmond, Online Solicitation of a Child, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Unlawful Carrying Weapon, Prohibited Weapon/Collapsible Baton, Possession of Marijuana, $87,000; and
    - Chad Harbour, 30, Cleveland, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Possession of Marijuana, $81,000.
    - Emmanuel Odoh, 30, Houston, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Possession of Marijuana, $81,000;
    - Mark Duesterberg, 33, Spring, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Explosive charge possibly to follow, Possession of a Controlled Substance, four counts of Possession of a Dangerous Drug, Firearm Smuggling, Theft of Firearm, Prohibited Weapon, $113,000;
    - Zahir Nobels, 19, Katy, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000; and
    - Yader Larios, 38, Katy, Online Solicitation of a Minor, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, $80,000.


Of the 23 men arrested, eight have posted bond, including Brown, Munoz, Webb, Gozegir, Alley, Pelham, Helton and Hernandez. The rest of the suspects remain in the Fort Bend County Jail.=

Other agencies participating in the sweep included Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Houston Police Department the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office, the Spring Valley Police Department and the Rosenberg Police Department.

This operation comes on the heels of another operation that netted 12 arrests.
Related Topics:
internet sex crimesfort bend county sheriff's officehouston police departmentkaty isd
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