Plano Megachurch Minister Arrested in Bryan Sex Predator Sting

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email

Bryan police have been targeting online predators---and their sting has landed two big arrests.

The first arrest was made Tuesday, when Bryan resident Christopher Scott Kazmierski allegedly began chatting to who he thought was a 13 year-old girl online.

Despite her age police say it didn't take long for him to suggest meeting up.

So when he showed up, police were waiting.

Police were also there, when a minister from Plano drove more than three hours Thursday to meet up with what he thought was a 13 year-old Bryan girl.

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He showed up in a different vehicle, even circled the parking lot and messaged the teen, but police we're able to put two and two together.

Joe Barron, 52, a pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, was arrested.

Police found a hymn book in his car, but there was also a box of condoms and a web camera, which police believe was intended to be a present for the girl.

Barron is charged with online solicitation of a minor. His bond was set at $7,000, but he is out of jail.

Prestonwood Baptist Church issued the following statement regarding Barron's arrest: "We are disturbed and saddened by the reports we have heard, and we are praying for the Barron family. We are fully cooperating with the police in their investigation."

Barron was listed on the church's website as a minister to married couples.

Bryan Police Department has made 12 arrests since 2006 in their sting involving online predators.

Tracking Barron
You could call it the wall of shame, but for Bryan Police, it's actually a wall of motivation.

Eleven mugshots of alleged predators hang on the Bryan police department's wall. Police found them allegedly chatting on-line with Bryan detectives pretending to be 13-year-old girls.

"Every time we have downtime, we get on there, officers get on there and chat," Sgt. Shane Bush with the Bryan Police Department said.

It's those chats, which can often get sexually explicit, that have led police to some of the most unlikely suspects. They've arrested a firefighter, a soldier, and now a minister.

"During those chats he was talking about the girl going to school, he asked the girl if she would skip school to meet with him during the day," Bush said.

Police say 52-year-old Joe Barron drove nearly four hours in his wife's car, to meet up with who he thought was the teen.

But instead of being greeted by a 13-year-old girl, Barron met Bryan police.

"I asked him what his initial thoughts were, he said shame, guilt, grief, those were some of his words," Bush said.

Inside Barron's car, police found laying next to a hymn book, a box of condoms, a web-camera and head-set. Police believe the web-cam may have been a present for the teen girl.

But Barron's phone may have been the biggest find.

"I think the officer stopped counting at like 25 or 30 different--apparently females, different people he was having similar chats with," Bush said.

So while police say this may not have been Barron's first meet and greet with a minor, they feel a little bit better knowing for now--they got number their 12th alleged predator off the streets.

Joe Barron was a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.

After police arrested him Thursday, they then drove to Plano where they were able to confiscate computers, blank CD's, and memory cards from the church and his home.

Barron is out of jail on a $7,000 bond.

Bryan police were conducting the sting in cooperation with a federal agency in developing some training, and helping them develop an online solicitation of a minor program. A federal agent was present for both arrests.

These latest arrests aren't the first for the Bryan Police Department In the last two years they've made 12 arrests involving online predators.

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