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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

March 6, 2013

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Mexican National Sentenced in Child Solicitation Case

LAREDO, Texas– Juan Antonio Castillo-Mendoza, 46, a resident of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, has been sentenced to 48 months for traveling into the United States with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Vincent Iglio, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Castillo-Mendoza pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 25, 2012.

“Protecting America's children from sexual predators is one of the most important public safety roles we have at HSI,” said Iglio. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates that HSI and our law enforcement partners will use every tool at our disposal to stop these predators in their tracks, and protect their innocent victims.”

Between July and August 2012, Castillo-Mendoza initiated contact and engaged in numerous online chats with an undercover investigator who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. During their first chat, Castillo-Mendoza was informed several times that the girl he had initiated contact with was 14 years old. The online conversations soon turned personal and Castillo-Mendoza told the undercover investigator he wanted her to become his girlfriend, asked her to keep their relationship a secret and tried to entice her to travel to Nuevo Laredo so that they could meet.  He also steered the online chats towards sex and repeatedly asked the undercover investigator about sex.

After a month of online chatting, Castillo-Mendoza made plans to visit the girl and have sex with her while her mother was away at work. Castillo-Mendoza arrived at the Laredo apartment given to him by the undercover investigator and he was subsequently arrested. 

The case was investigated by HSI and the Webb County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonah Lee.