Corpus Man Sent to Federal Prison for Online Solicitation of Minors
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 42-year-old resident of Corpus Christi has been ordered to prison following his conviction of two counts of online solicitation of minors and two counts of transfer of obscene material to minors, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. A federal jury deliberated for approximately 20 minutes following less than two days of trial before convicting Spencer Salcedo on Jan. 9, 2018.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos handed Salcedo a total 168-month sentence. Salcedo was further ordered to serve five years of 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. Salcedo will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Salcedo was communicating with a person he believed was the mother of two minor female children - ages 14 and 11. In reality, he was actually talking to an undercover police officer. During the course of the communications, he made arrangements to meet and engage in sexual activity with the mother’s children. Salcedo also sent sexually explicit photographs through text messages intended for the children.
He was apprehended as he arrived at the designated meeting place. At the time of his arrest, Salcedo had condoms with him and candy for the children.
At trial, the jury heard from an agent who testified that Salcedo gave a conflicting statement as to why he showed up to the meeting location.
Previously released on bond, Salcedo was remanded to custody following the verdict where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez and Jeff S. Miller 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."