Corpus Christi Man Heads to Prison for Online Solicitation of Minors
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 53-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has been ordered to prison after admitting he attempted to meet two underage girls for the purpose of sex, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Jesse Hernandez pleaded guilty Oct. 5, 2017.
Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed Hernandez a 210-month sentence. He was further ordered to serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Hernandez was communicating with a person he believed was the mother of two minor children - ages 14 and 11. He made arrangements to meet and engage in sexual contact with the minors, but was apprehended as he arrived at the designated meeting place. Hernandez admitted he had sent messages indicating his intention to engage in sexual acts with the children. He was also in possession of a cellular telephone, on which a forensic examination resulted in the discovery of 26 images of child pornography.
The FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Corpus Christi Police Department - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation as part of Operation Hidden Predator, a joint investigation targeting individuals involved in online solicitation of minors.
Hernandez was arrested on the federal charges in July 2017 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."