Law enforcement authorities in Texas have successfully conducted a months-long operation to nab child predators, arresting 28 individuals involved in the distribution of child exploitation material online.
The operation, known as “Operation Hydra,” also resulted in the rescue of 19 children from potential harm.
According to a press release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, child sexual abuse continues to be a prevalent issue plaguing the community.
As per the press release, detectives employed several strategies over the 12-month-long operation, including closely monitoring chat groups on social media platforms to identify individuals engaged in the distribution of child pornography.
After diligently gathering enough evidence, police were ultimately able to obtain warrants for the arrest and charge of 28 suspects hailing from 17 different states and, highlighting the widespread nature of this criminal activity and the necessity for collaborative efforts to address the issue.
One individual charged was 46-year-old Baltazar Fuentes, who was later found guilty of aggravated sexual assault on a child in court.
Officials noted that the predators’ illicit activity spanned to other countries as well.
“Detectives worked with authorities in those jurisdictions to apprehend the defendants, demonstrating a commitment to collaboration and cooperation with other jurisdictions to ensure the safety of our community and particularly children,” the DA said.
“This operation is a stark reminder of the realities of child sexual exploitation and the proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the internet, and the need for proactive measures to address these crimes against our children,” the department continued.
Operation Hydra was led by the Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, with support from multiple other agencies.