The Office of the Texas Attorney General announced the arrest of the 200th online child predator under the AG’s Child Exploitation Unit. The arrests came as part of his crackdown on child predators.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the arrest of two men in Central Texas that brought the total number of arrests of online child predators to 200 since the Child Exploitation Unit was created in 2003.
“The success of this operation is testimony to the hard work and dedication of law enforcement officers who continuously strive to protect our children and our communities,” Attorney General Paxton said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “I am grateful for these men and women, whose dedication to keeping our state safe is proven with each arrest of dangerous predators.”
Working with the Georgetown Police Department and the OAG’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit, the task force targeted child predators who are utilizing the internet to solicit minors for sexual acts and then travel to meet those minors to commit sex crimes against them.
John Gonzales, 38, from Belton, Texas, and Carlos Moreno, 59, from Austin were arrested for online solicitation of a minor.
A task force investigator was posing as a 14-year-old girl online last Thursday, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Gonzales reportedly responded to the bait and made arrangements to meet the girl. After he completed the 30-mile drive in from Belton to the location of the proposed meeting, he was arrested by police. The affidavit claimed Gonzales asked the girl for a sexually explicit photo and travelled to Georgetown to sexually assault the teenage girl.
That same day, Moreno allegedly responded to another online investigator. This one posing as a ninth-grade girl and a 14-year-old girl. Moreno reportedly told the girl his age and that he wanted to have sex with her. “She” responded that she was 14 and did not want to get pregnant, the Austin American-Statesman continued. He said he had condoms to prevent her from getting pregnant.
When he arrived in Georgetown, he was promptly arrested. While he declined to talk to police, a condom was found in his possession. Police also seized his cell phone.
Moreno was booked into the Williamson County jail and was released on a $40,000 bond on Monday, according to jail records. Gonzales was also held on a $40,000 bond. He remains in custody as of the time of this publication. The charge against both men is a 2nd Degree Felony. The men could face jail time of between two and twenty years if convicted. They could also face fines of up to $10,000.
Since the inception of the Child Exploitation Unit in 2003, 232 arrests have been made of people possessing and promoting child pornography. This brings the total arrests for online solicitation of a minor and possession of or promotion of child pornography to 433. There have been 591 separate convictions in the cases against child sex predators, the AG’s statement revealed.
Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to realize the risks our children face online, and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety. For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety.
“My office will continue to seek out these individuals who threaten our community and bring them to justice,” Attorney General Paxton concluded.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.