During the week of September 5, 2016, the Cypress Creek EMS Tactical Medic Team assisted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office High Tech Crime Unit as it led a regional coalition of Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force agencies in an intensive three-day investigation resulting in the arrests of Internet predators who solicit children online.
During the investigation, the HTCU, and its partners operated in an area of southeast Harris County and identified persons who communicated with children in a sexually explicit manner using social media and the Internet. These persons subsequently made arrangements to meet with underage children for the purposes of sexual assault and were intercepted by law enforcement. The Cypress Creek EMS Tactical Medic Team was on the scene of the arrests to provide front-line medical support should it be needed.
These operations always carry a potential risk to law enforcement and recently the CCEMS Team upgraded its capabilities by becoming the first such team in the country approved to carry and transfuse Packed Red Blood Cells and Fresh Plasma in the field. This was actually the first mission on which the team carried blood products in the field. Fortunately, in this operation, all of the arrests were made without incident, but the fact that several of the suspects arrived armed underscores the risk.
According to Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman, one defendant was out of jail on bond for unrelated charges and arrived holding his 2-year-old son. Another was a licensed security officer who identified himself online as a Fort Bend County police officer and arrived with condoms and alcoholic beverages. All twenty-five of the defendants were arrested without incident and booked into the Harris County Jail on charges of Online Solicitation of a Minor – a second-degree felony. Bonds range from $20,000 to “No Bond”.
The following is a list of all of the ICAC Task Force member agencies that participated in this operation:
Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Harris County District Attorney’s Office
Houston Police Department
Katy ISD Police Department
Deer Park Police Department
Department of Homeland Security, Investigations
Harris County Precinct 1 Constables Office
Texas Attorney General’s Office
Waller County District Attorney’s Office
Webster Police Department
Cypress Creek EMS Tactical Medic Team
CCEMS Special Operations Director Wren Nealy said, “Cypress Creek EMS is proud to play an important role, in operations such as this, by continuing to provide front-line medical support to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.” CCEMS joined the Task Force in May of 2009. The Houston Metro ICAC is the only such Task Force in the country with Tactical Medics
Cypress Creek’s Tactical Medic Team was founded in the mid-1990’s and was one of the first such teams in the country. The team has an international reputation for excellence and continues to draw officers and medics from all over the world to the CCEMS Education Center in Spring, Texas for Tactical EMS Training. The fall training session will be held from September 25 to October 2, 2016.