ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Last week, an Ector County jury convicted Dakota Beal, 26, of Andrews, guilty of Online Solicitation of a Minor for Sexual Contact or Sexual Intercourse and Delivery of a Controlled Substance. District Attorney Dusty Gallivan said Beal was sentenced to 20 years on each count and the sentences will run concurrently. 

According to court documents, Beal was arrested in January by Texas Department of Public Safety special agents and Odessa Police Department officers who were part of a sting operation designed to catch human traffickers and sexual predators. 34 others were also arrested as part of that operation.

Investigators said Beal responded to the profile of an adult woman set up on the dating app MeetMe; the profile was actually set up by an undercover special agent. Soon, the special agent and Beal began texting each other and continued their conversation even after the special agent told Beal he was a 14-year-old girl.

Texts showed that as soon as the agent said he was a 14-year-old girl, the conversation turned explicit with talks of what sexual acts Beal wanted to do with the teen when they met.Beal also sent the agent a naked photo of himself.

Beal was arrested after officers observed him driving near Crockett Middle School where the two had arranged to meet; he reportedly drove from Andrews to meet the presumed teen. Officers also found more than 4 grams of methamphetamine under the seat of his car. Court records stated he later admitted to his wife and to the police that he was a drug dealer.