NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas — A Nacogdoches man was arrested Thursday afternoon on two counts of online solicitation of a minor following a joint investigation by the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO), Nacogdoches Police Department (NPD) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Sheriff Jason Bridges said an investigator with the NCSO assigned to sexual assault investigations and has specialized training with internet crimes against children conducted the investigation that led to the arrest.
The investigator was contacted over the internet by the suspect that was later identified as Jason Collier, 44.
"Acting in an undercover capacity with a photo profile of a young girl, the investigator was contacted by Collier who requested to be friends with the young girl," the NCSO said in a statement. "A conversation started between the two that would last for over a week. The suspect, who is 44-years-of-age, was told several times during the conversation that the person he believed he was talking with was a 14-year-old girl."
The NCSO says this did not deter Collier and he started making sexual advances during the conversation on the first day.
During the week long conversation the suspect continued to try and groom the victim by wanting the victim to call him Daddy and to also introduce her to drugs (marijuana) and alcohol. The investigator was able to get the suspect to send several photos of himself along with a driver license photo during the conversation that helped investigators identify the suspect.
During the investigation the suspect continued to progress about having a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old and gave explicit details of what he wanted to do to the child," the NCSO said.
"The NCSO investigator established enough evidence for a warrant on the subject (Collier)," the NCSO said. "A meeting was arranged for the suspect to pick up the 14-year-old child and take her to a motel room."
On Thursday, a meeting was set up at the north view plaza shopping center. investigators with NCSO, the NPD and the DPS set up in the area in unmarked units. The NCSO says undercover units watched the suspect leave his residence and go toward the meeting destination.
"The suspect vehicle was observed pulling into the shopping center and drove around the shopping plaza for several minutes before he parked his vehicle, just outside the business where he believed the 14-year-old girl was located," the NCSO said in a statement.
Officers from all three agencies made their approach and took Collier into custody without incident.
Collier was booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail and charged with two counts of online solicitation of a minor.