A bust in Texas on Thursday brought in guys like 49-year-old Patrick Blevins of Houston, who did eight years behind bars for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He was released in 2004, but authorities say his page on MySpace.com violated his parole by being on the Internet.
"Mr. Blevins' arrest highlights the gravity and urgency of the situation we are dealing with," said Texas attorney general Greg Abbott. "These predators are incorrigible; they will stop at nothing in order to try and find their next victim."
Blevins was one of seven sex offenders caught after MySpace, the world's largest online social network — and especially popular with teens — agreed last month to start cross-referencing its user information with sex offender registries.
None of those arrested in Texas is known to have committed any new crimes, but investigators are still working with MySpace to identify possible victims.
"We wanted to arrest these people as quickly as possible," Abbott said.
Texas is one of two dozen states now getting information MySpace to identity sex offenders who might be trolling the Internet.
"Parents need to understand there are predators on the Internet who are more vicious than those who used to lurk in parks or playgrounds," Abbott said.