Area Man Arrested in Texas Child Sexual Exploitation Sting

| July 8, 2022

thomas-mannoMONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tx. (EYT) – A Clarion County man has been named as one of nine men recently arrested in a child sexual exploitation sting in Montgomery County, Texas.

(PHOTO ABOVE: Thomas J. Manno. Provided by the office of Montgomery County District Attorney Brett W. Ligon.)

According to a July 7 release issued by Montgomery County District Attorney Brett W. Ligon, 39-year-old Thomas J. Manno, of Shippenville, has been arrested and charged with the Promotion of Child Pornography.

The offense is a second-degree felony in Texas, according to DA Ligon.

Manno’s arrest was part of a multi-day operation conducted by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office (MCDAO) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Section and the Houston Metro ICAC Task Force. The operation targeted persons actively seeking to sexually exploit children via the internet in Montgomery County.

Ligon’s office said task force members obtained an arrest warrant for Manno’s residence in Shippenville. Members of the task force were able to provide “substantive information” to local authorities who then executed a search warrant at his residence.

Multiple law enforcement agencies participated in the operation, including the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety, Houston Police Department, Conroe Police Department, Montgomery County Pct. 1, Pct. 2, Pct. 3, and Pct. 5 Constables’ Offices, the Humble Police Department, Ft. Bend County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri City Police Department, and the Spring Branch Independent School District Police Department.

The Houston Metro ICAC Taskforce is part of a national network of 61 coordinated task forces, representing over 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies dedicated to investigating and prosecuting persons attempting to sexually exploit children over the internet.

During this multi-day operation, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office ICAC Section, hosted by Constable Ryan Gable and deputies with the Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 3, conducted a proactive chat operation in south Montgomery County.

“The internet offers offenders an often unmonitored avenue to take advantage of child victims,” said Lt. Michael Atkins of the Montgomery County Constable’s Office. “As parents, we have to remain diligent in monitoring our children’s online activity and must communicate with them about the dangers they may face on the internet.”

Additional arrests made during the operation include:

  • Robert Clarence Clayton – 27 – Channelview, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2)
  • Isaac Anthony Marino – 30 – Houston, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2)
  • Francisco Xavier Garza – 29 – Spring, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2) and Poss. w/ Intent to Deliver – Methamphetamine (F1)
  • Elijah Charles Lewis – 24 – Houston, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2)
  • Ahsan Shah – 36 – Houston, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2)
  • Lawrence Clayton Hopkins – 55 – Baytown, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2)
  • Edward Stewart Geddes – 42 – Houston, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F2) and Tampering with Evidence (F3)
  • Clinton Brian Harvey – 44 – Dickenson, Texas – Online Solicitation of a Minor (F3) and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (MA)

The above-listed defendants are still under investigation, and additional charges may be filed at a later date. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Anyone with information relating to other offenses or potential victims of these defendants is encouraged to contact Det. Sean Bridges with the Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 3 at (936) 538-3438.

child-sting

During the investigation into Lawrence Clayton Hopkins, officers learned that Hopkins may have worked as a youth pastor in the Midlothian, College Station, and Baytown, Texas before his arrest. Given the nature of this offense and his potential access to children through his employment, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone with information concerning potential victims associated with Hopkins to contact Det. Sean Bridges with the Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 3 at (936) 538-3438.

While investigating Clinton Brian Harvey, officers learned that Harvey worked as Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Officer. Given the nature of this offense and his potential access to children through his employment, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone with information concerning potential victims associated with Harvey to contact Det. Darrick Dunn with the Conroe Police Department at (936) 760-6918.

Authorities nationwide are encouraging parents to be diligent in monitoring their children’s online activity and report concerns to law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

“We know the internet can be a dangerous place for children,” said Special Victims Division Chief Shanna Redwine (MCDAO). “The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office are committed to making it legally perilous for adults intent on harming them.”

“We ask parents and caregivers to assist us in this effort by closely monitoring and talking to children about online risks, of which there are many.”

Concerned parents and guardians should contact local law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1 for emergencies. Parents and guardians may also contact NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or via their website at CyberTipline.org for additional information and resources.


Copyright © 2022 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls, Regional News