Additional Charges For Barron

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

A former Plano church minister is back in a familiar place; the Brazos County jail.

Joe Barron, 52, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in downtown Bryan on additional charges stemming from his alleged solicitation of minors over the Internet.

Some of the latest charges aren't just from the sting conducted in Bryan, but out of state as well.

Barron was picked up in downtown Bryan near 26th street, after authorities got a tip about Barron being in the neighborhood. Many questions still surround what Barron was doing in Bryan in the first place.

"I don't know why he was in town or what he was here for, but one of the constables recognized him and recognized he had warrants and arrested him without incident," Sgt. Shane Bush with the Bryan Police Department said.

Those warrants were for four additional charges of online solicitation of minor. All stemming from online conversations Barron allegedly had with undercover officers before heading to Bryan.

"In the days leading up to here, he was chatting with who he thought was a 13 year-old girl, but it was actually an officer," Brazos County Asst. District Attorney Danny Smith said.

"He had some active warrants from the chats that I've had with him before he came to meet (us)," Bush said. "He's had four outstanding warrants for third degree felonies."

As it turns out, police say Barron had similar problems brewing out of state. But once again, instead of a teenage girl, it was police officers behind the computer screen.

"He was communicating with who he thought was a 13 year-old female in Louisiana who turned out to be a Louisiana County police officer at a Sheriff's Department," Bush said.

Which didn't come as a huge shock to Bryan police who worked the sting last month. It was inside his car they found a box of condoms, a web camera, and a phone which contained more than 60 similar conversations with females.

"No, it just does not surprise me at all," Bush said.

Bush says one of those 60 conversations found on Barron's phone was with the undercover officers in Louisiana.

Police say bonds had already been pre-determined for charges out of Louisiana at $100,000. Barron's attorney says they are now working to get a bond hearing set.

Either way, he'll be spending Wednesday night in the Brazos County jail, where a hold has been placed on him for charges out of Louisiana.

There is speculation that Barron may have been in town to talk to an attorney or a bail bondsman.

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