Pettus Man Gets More Than 30 Years for Online Solicitation of Minors
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 55-year-old resident of Pettus has been ordered to federal prison following his admission that he attempted to meet two underage boys for the purpose of sex, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Darrell Freeze pleaded guilty Oct. 30, 2017, to one count of online solicitation of a minor.
At a hearing late yesterday, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack sentenced Freeze to 380 months in prison. Additional information was also presented, including testimony from a federal agent that an individual in Arizona reported Freeze had sexually assaulted him when he was a minor. Freeze will also serve 25 years 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. In handing down the sentence, Judge Jack noted freeze had not shown any remorse for his victims.
Freeze 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. Freeze admitted to authorities he had sent messages indicating his intention to engage in sexual acts with the children. He was also in possession of condoms and candy he brought for the children.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Corpus Christi Police Department—Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation as part of Operation Hidden Predator.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case, which was brought 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."