Bryan Police Combat Online Sex Offenders

By: Meredith Stancik
By: Meredith Stancik

The Bryan Police Department has shed some light on an undercover operation that is yielding big results.
Since August, Bryan's Directed Deployment Team has been targeting online sex offenders using the Internet to prey on kids.

"Once they find out how old we are most of the time they'll say sorry we can't talk to you," Sgt. Shane Bush with the Bryan Police Department said. "But some will chat that shouldn't be chatting with you."

Bryan's Directed Deployment Team has created several profiles, using fake names and ages under 18, on several online chat sites.

Once a person contacts them, they wait until an inappropriate exchange is made.

"They either communicate in a sexually explicit manner with that minor or they show them sexually explicit images or video to that minor and that constitutes an offense," Bush said.

Each inappropriate chat counts as a separate offense.
So far the team has made three arrests.

David Grube, a Navasota firefighter, was arrested earlier this month and charged with nine counts of online solicitation of a minor. Police say Grube had multiple Internet conversations with a police officer he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

Pradipta Basu, 28, was indicted by a Brazos County Grand Jury last week.
Basu is accused of planning a rendezvous with a 14-year-old girl who was actually an undercover officer.

And 29-year-old Garusum Rath from Houston was arrested for attempted aggravated assault of a child and online solicitation of a minor.

Bryan Police say 20 cases are pending and they expect to make more arrests.

"We're happy we can get people that would actually do something like that and actually travel to meet somebody," Bush said. "We're happy we can get them off the street."

The Brazos County District Attorney's Office provided funding for the computer equipment for the project and for the Directed Deployment Team to receive training in cyber crimes.
Brazos County Assistant District Attorney Shane Phelps authored the law in the State of Texas protecting children against online solicitation by sex offenders.

"Our goal is to notify pedophiles soliciting the children in Bryan online that they are likely talking to an undercover Bryan Police Officer. I am proud of Sgt. Bush and his team," said David Slanker, Bryan Assistant Chief of Police.

The operation is on-going.


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