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MURPHY, Texas -- A sting in which police teamed up with "Dateline NBC" to catch online pedophiles has turned into a fiasco.
One of the 25 men caught in the sting - a prosecutor from a neighboring county - committed suicide when police came to arrest him. The Murphy city manager who approved the operation lost his job in the ensuing furor.
And the district attorney is refusing to prosecute any of the men. He says many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs.
It is the first time in nine "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" stings across the country in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges.
Over four days in November, 24 men were arrested at a two-story home in one of Murphy's newer neighborhoods after allegedly arranging to meet boys or girls there.
Some other never showed up at the house. Among them was Louis Conradt Jr., an assistant prosecutor from neighboring Kaufman County, who allegedly engaged in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy.
As police knocked at his door and a "Dateline" camera crew waited in the street, Conradt shot himself.
His sister, Patricia Conradt, told the City Council that police acted as "a judge, jury and executioner that was encouraged by an out-of-control reality show."
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