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Five arrested for online solicitation in Coryell County

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Posted at 12:15 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-08 19:41:23-04

Five local men have been arrested in Coryell County in an undercover online solicitation sting.

The officers working these investigations are with the Child Exploitation Unit and Cyber Crimes Unit for the Office of Attorney General of Texas. The officers used social media sites Whisper and MOCOSPACE, as well as Craigslist, to catch the men.

Jesus Antonio Aboytes-Mendoza, Steven Anthony Blankenship, Joseph Allen Hosler, Steven Lee Merrill, and Justin Logan Perez were all arrested as part of this investigation.

According to affidavits, the officers began the investigation on May 5 and May 6 by posting and responding to posts on sites as teen girls, and in one case, as a teenage boy. In each case, the men sent sexually explicit communications, such as pictures and text messages, to someone they thought was an underage boy or girl.

Each of the five men arranged a meeting and were arrested after arriving at the location to meet with the child. Aboytes-Mendoza traveled from McGregor, Blankenship traveled from Fort Hood, Hosler traveled from Killeen, and Perez traveled from Harker Heights to meet the child, according to affidavits. All of the men confessed when they were confronted by investigators.