CLEBURNE, Texas - Investigators believe a North Texas sexual predator sting operation that landed 16 people in jail is the largest ever in Texas, reports CBS affiliate DFW.
Records show men traveled from as far away as Garland and Plano to Johnson County hoping to have sex with someone they thought was a minor they'd met online, according to the station.
They were arrested instead.
"Whenever I stop and realize what they were coming here to do I just, it made me mad to be honest," said Adam King with the Johnson County Special Crimes Unit. "I was very upset, very mad about it. I don't like the fact that they would come here or anywhere to do that. It's a very serious problem."
Johnson County investigators say one of the men arrested was already a registered sex offender, reports CBS DFW. Another man, thinking he was texting a 14 year old, asked for gas money so he could get back to Fort Worth after they met. And a third man traveled for what he thought was a minor, while packing a gun, says the station.
"These are not good people," King said. "You got to wonder what that gun was for."
The investigators say they were most surprised by how many predators were lurking on line in North Texas.
"There are so many ways for these guys to get into your child's world," King said, according to CBS DFW.
The director of Johnson County's Child Advocacy Center says they find that teens average five social media apps on their phones alone, according to the station, and cautions that each could be a gateway for predators.