From Staff Reports
Men from Longview and Henderson were among four East Texans arrested for online solicitation of a minor after a regional multijurisdictional sting operation.
The arrests came Wednesday and Thursday when the suspects arrived at an undisclosed location after soliciting sex online with investigators posing as minors.
Arrested were Randall Earl Powell, 55, of Longview; Gary Dean Tennison, 54, of Henderson; Rayme Ralyn Everrett, 18, of Tyler; and Manuel Huerta Jr., 28, of Bullard. All were booked into the Gregg County Jail, according to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The operation included investigators from the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, Gregg County District Attorney’s Office, Longview Police Department, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Enforcement Removal Operations. They were supported by agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Highway Patrol and Texas Ranger Division.
Online solicitation of a minor is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Powell was arrested at Ingram Park on 10th Street at 10:33 p.m. Thursday, according to Gregg County Jail records.
Tennison, Everrett and Huerta were apprehended at Flewellen Park off Judson Road in separate investigations over a 5 1/2-hour period beginning Thursday afternoon, records indicated.
Tennison also was charged with possession of between 1 gram and 4 grams of a controlled substance. He was held in jail Friday on $45,000 in bonds.
Everrett, Huerta and Powell were held in jail Friday on $35,000 bond each.
Agents used social media platform websites or smart phone apps to pose as underage children of 15 or 16 years of age, according to affidavits released Friday.