Seven men, including a subsitute teacher at Nazarene Christian Academy in Crowley, were arrested this week in an undercover sting by Fort Worth police aimed at online child predators.
The crimes against children unit conducted the sting on various days during this week — spring break for several area children — posing as a 13 year-old girl on various Internet dating websites, according to Sgt. Wade Walls, supervisor of the unit.
Walls said seven men engaged in sexually explicit talk with the undercover officers and were eager to come to a location under the guise of having sexual intercourse with the underage minor.
“Undercover officers were actively chatting with dozens of individuals, but seven of these individuals decided to make the trip to Fort Worth,” he said.
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One of the men, 37-year-old Elia Santamaria, traveled from as far as Tulsa.
When they arrived at the agreed locations, officers were waiting and placed them under arrest, Walls said.
The arrested were identified as: Preston King, 21, of Burleson; Raj Biswa, 30, of Fort Worth; Joshua Carpenter, 28, of White Settlement; Enrique Esparza, 47, of Dallas; Gregory Elliot, 43, of Saginaw; Alonso Martinez, 40, of Fort Worth; and Santamaria, a resident of El Salvador who police say is in the country on a work visa.
King told police he works as a substitute teacher for the Nazarene Christian Academy in Crowley. He also identifies himself as such on his Facebook page.
The school’s principal, Kathie Starks, said in an email Friday that she had read the article online and looked at the arrested men’s names and pictures.
“I don’t know any of the men,” she wrote. “None of them work at Nazarene Christian Academy.”
In an email sent Saturday, however, Starks claimed she had only seen four of the seven mugshots that had been posted with the article. She said upon later seeing King’s mugshot, she did recognize him and that he has substituted at the school and “he is no longer employed at NCA.”
All of the men face charges of online solicitation of a minor. In addition, Biswa — a legal resident here from Nepal — and Martinez face charges of prostitution solicitation of a person under 14 after police say they offered the “girls” money and/or dinner in exchange for sex.
Walls said the north division’s special response team, the gang unit, the FBI and Homeland Security investigators assisted in the investigation.