This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Texas police departments of Brownwood, Coleman and Santa Anna.
According to documents filed in the case, while living in Brownwood, Texas, Luis Gerardo Alvarado, 22, met a girl who lived in Coleman County, Texas, by contacting her through Facebook chat. From mid-March until April 8, 2013, Alvarado communicated with the girl and attempted to persuade and entice her to have sex with him. Alvarado knew the girl was younger than 17 years old. Alvarado has been in federal custody since July 1 when he was received from state custody, where he was being held on pending state charges.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted.