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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

El Paso Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Enticing a Minor

EL PASO – A 36-year-old El Paso man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to entice a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. He was further ordered to serve five years of supervised release following completion of his prison term and will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, on April 24, 2021, Armando Rafael Mascorro, a naturalized U.S. citizen that was born in Mexico and living in El Paso at the time of the offense, communicated with someone he believed to be 14 years old through a popular social media messaging application. During those conversations, Mascorro detailed his intended plans to engage in sexual acts with the child and admitted that he had an attraction to “younger females.” Mascorro later drove to a pre-arranged meeting location to engage in a sexual act with the child, where he was immediately taken into custody as the minor was, in reality, an undercover law enforcement officer.

On October 7, 2021, Mascorro pleaded guilty to one count of attempted enticement of a minor.

“While the internet  can be an important educational tool for our nation’s youth, there are bad actors who corrupt its purpose, attempting to harm and exploit children online,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “These prosecutions are crucial in making the internet safer for children.”

“Thank you to our El Paso Child Exploitation & Human Trafficking Task Force partners who participated in the FBI’s April 2021 sexual coercion and enticement of a minor operation, Operation April Fools,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey, El Paso Field Office.  “Their dedicated mission to protect the children of our community helped us stop an individual who attempted to meet a 14-year-old girl, whom he met via social media, for sex. This case reminds all of us to remain vigilant about our children’s online behavior and social media presence. We encourage parents to speak with their children about the dangers of online predators who use popular apps, games, and websites and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

The FBI investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Winters prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 2, 2022