DPS: East Texas undercover operation gets 9 arrested for propositioning sex with children

DPS: East Texas undercover operation gets 9 arrested for propositioning sex with children
Multiple-agency collaboration led to 9 arrested for propositioning sex with children

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A multiple-agency law enforcement operation has led to the arrests of nine men accused of trying to meet up with children for sexual intercourse.

According to DPS spokeswoman Jean Dark, investigators with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler police, Longview police, FBI, ICE and DPS arrested the men on Wednesday and Thursday on charges of second-degree online solicitation of a minor.

Those arrested, listed with ages, hometowns and bond amounts are:

* Jamal Demetrius Thames, 28, 75k

* Jose Neftali Villafranco-Gutierrez, 38, Tyler, 75k

* Ruben Hernandez Contreras, 23, Tyler, 75k

* Keith Carroll Cloyd, 31, Mesquite, bond not yet set

* Jeffrey Allen Keys, 36, Chandler, bond not yet set

* Markeith Isiah Mccuin, 21, Lindale, bond not yet set

* Richard Dean Moore, 57, Flint, bond not yet set

* Joshua Williams, 23, Tyler, bond not yet set

* John Dewayne Bell, 27, Chandler, bond not yet set

Dark said investigators arrested the men at a location set by investigators.

“We see some cases come through here that will just turn your stomach, they’ll just make you sick,” Sheriff Larry Smith says.

DPS officials tell us they worked with the FBI and investigators from Tyler and Longview to arrest the men this week on felony charges of second-degree online solicitation of a minor.

“So these men were completely aware that they were talking to a minor?” “Oh absolutely. Absolutely. Without a doubt.”

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith says as many as 30 investigators, troopers, deputies, city police helped with each arrest.

“They would come to a predetermined location that we were using in case we had two people there at one time making arrests that would not work very well so we had two separate locations so we were quite busy, especially last night,” Sheriff Larry Smith says.

Sheriff Smith says all of the suspects live in Smith County except for Keith Cloyd, who drove all the way from Dallas to meet with a minor.

Sheriff Smith says both Jose Villafranco-Gutierrez and Ruben Contreras may have been in the country illegally.

Joshua Williams is in the Air National Guard.

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