A 39-year-old Edinburg, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for enticing a minor at Port Neches Park.
A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office says Hector Capetillo Rodriguez pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2012, to coercion or enticement of a child. Thursday he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
The sentence was handed down before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, on May 30, 2012, Rodriguez approached a child inside a Port Arthur Wal-Mart and requested assistance in locating a particular toy. During the conversation, Rodriguez asked for the child's cell phone number, which the child gave him. Later that evening, Rodriguez began sending the child text messages thanking the child for assisting him. An adult family member saw the text messages and contacted police, who then assumed the child's identity and continued the text conversation with Rodriguez.
The defendant's text messages became sexual and a meeting was arranged between Rodriguez and the police posing as the child. Rodriguez arrived at Port Neches Park for what he believed to be a sexual encounter with the child and was arrested by police.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood and was investigated by HSI/ICE, the Port Arthur Police Department and the Port Neches Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.