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Sept. 17, 2012

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Third Man Convicted of Enticing a Minor

McALLEN, Texas - Teofanes Salas-Campos, 40, of Mission, Texas, has pleaded guilty to enticing a minor, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

In April 2012, a Pharr Police Department investigator contacted Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents concerning the solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes. Agents recovered a cellular telephone that was being utilized by a 14-year-old minor to receive messages from adult males requesting sexual encounters in exchange for money. Posing as the minor, agents began conversing with the unknown males via text messages over the cellphone.

During this investigation, three men were arrested and subsequently charged with the federal offense of enticing a minor, all of whom have now been convicted. Today, Salas-Campos entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane, while Felipe de Jesus Ponce-Torres, 24, of Mexico, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alveraz and Jose Luis Garica-Saldivar, 28, of Mexico, entered his plea guilty before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.

During the re-arraignment on these cases, each of these defendants admitted they intended to have sex with an individual whom them believed was a minor and that they were going to pay the minor between $80 and $100.

Salas-Campos will be sentenced Nov. 26, 2012, while Ponce-Torres and Garica-Saldivar will be sentenced Nov. 21, 2012, and Dec. 10, 2012, respectively.

They all face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a maximum $250,000 fine. They will also be required to register as a sex offender.

The investigation leading to the charges against these defendants was conducted by HSI and Pharr Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Juan Villescas prosecuted the case.