Seven men have been arrested on suspicion of crimes against children in Moore, authorities told News 9.
“They know they've been caught, and I think they are ashamed,” said Cpt. Jeff Cox of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.
According to investigators, the suspects were trying to take advantage of somebody they believed to be a child. Investigators said the men went to meet the children but were instead greeted by officers.
Those arrested include: Aaron Kyle Dixon, Edmond Allen Clark, Shane Terrance Roman Corrotto, Tristen Ryan Tinsley, Marc Antony Spencer and Zachary Payne. They have since been charged in Cleveland County court with lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16.
For three days leading up to their arrests, in the parking lots of various Moore businesses, undercover officers went online and waited.
“We create social media profiles, and we wait until individuals contact us. We identify ourselves as minor children,” said Detective Matt Sandburg, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.
The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office said it didn't take long for each one of the men to strike up a conversation with officers they believed were children 13 to 15 years old.
“A child doesn’t have a lot of the mental and physical capability to react to this the right way. It scars them for the rest of their life,” said Sandburg.
Detectives said the conversations turned dark quickly.
“They are child predators reaching out to children for sexual behaviors. They reach out to start a relationship with these kids,” said Cox.
In these documents, each suspect details the sexual acts they had hoped to carry out on their victims but were stopped thanks to Operation Traveler, authorities said.
“These operations are designed to prevent child predators from victimizing children,” said Cox.
So far, seven arrests have been made, but investigators said more could be on the way.
“There are also outstanding investigations that are still pending with this, so people think they might have gotten away shouldn’t be all that comfortable,” said Sandburg.