Ken Paxton

Friday, July 11, 2003

Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau Officers Arrest Fifth Suspected Child Predator Since May

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Texas Internet Bureau officers arrested a Texas Education Agency contractor on Thursday in Bee Cave, bringing to five the number of suspected child predators arrested since May by the bureau.

Naveed Shams, 35, of Round Rock was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor after he allegedly drove to a prearranged location on Texas Highway 71 to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl he had met in an online chat room. The girl turned out to be an Internet Bureau investigator specially trained in online interactions with such suspects. The Travis County Sheriff's Department and U.S. Secret Service assisted the bureau in the arrest.

"Our Internet Bureau officers work tirelessly to track down and arrest individuals whose intentions are to have sexual relations with children," said Attorney General Abbott. "Law enforcement officers across Texas must work together to stop such predators before actual harm is done to children."

Bill James Duenas, 32, of Killeen in Bell County was arrested in San Marcos on Tuesday as he arrived to meet what he thought would be an underage girl for sexual relations. Arrested in May in Bee Cave, James Steven Thornton, Jr., 27, a parolee from Lampasas, was indicted June 19 on charges identical to Shams'. He is awaiting trial and is currently incarcerated in Travis County.

Two other suspects arrested in San Marcos recently were Srinath Audityan, 29, of north Austin (June 13), and Victor Gage, 20, of Hutto in Williamson County (June 24).