MCALLEN, Texas – A south Texas man was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years and three months in federal prison for enticing a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Pharr Police Department (PD).
Teofanes Salas-Campos, 40, Mission, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane to 135 months in prison. He pleaded guilty Sept. 17, 2012 that he intended to have sex with a minor for money. After he completes his prison term, Salas-Campos will also serve a five year term of supervised release, and will be required to register as a sex offender.
During Wednesday's court hearing, evidence presented indicated that Salas-Campos had taken a photograph of the victim on her cell phone which showed sexually explicit conduct. The sentence was enhanced because the minor victim was only 14 years old at the time, and because there was a commission of a sex act.
According to court documents, in April 2012, Pharr PD contacted HSI concerning the solicitation of a minor for sexual purposes. Special agents recovered a cellular telephone that was being used by a 14-year-old girl to receive messages from men requesting sex in exchange for money. Posing as the minor, special agents began conversing with the unknown men via text messages on the cellphone.
During this investigation, two others were arrested and charged separately with enticing a minor. Felipe de Jesus Ponce-Torres, 24, of Mexico, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alveraz who sentenced him in November 2012 to 10 years in prison. Jose Luis Garcia-Saldivar, 28, also of Mexico, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, and will be sentenced May 9.
In their respective guilty pleas, all three men admitted they intended to have sex with an individual whom they believed was a minor, and that they were going to pay the minor between $80 and $100.
All three men have been and will remain in custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Juan Villescas, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.