AMARILLO, Texas — An Amarillo man pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of attempted enticement of a minor.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox, Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by Texas Department of Public Safety, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI).
Weston Scott Langwell, 26, of Amarillo, faces not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to a lifetime of supervised release. He remains in custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 8.
According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, on Nov. 13, 2017, Langwell responded to a Craigslist ad placed by Texas Department of Public Safety agents by texting the number listed. An agent posing as a 16-year-old girl was monitoring the phone number and engaged in conversation with Langwell via text messaging. The officer sent a text to Langwell that stated she was almost 17. After Langwell learned the alleged age, he almost immediately turned the conversation to a sexual nature.
On Nov. 14, 2017, Langwell sent a nude photograph of himself along with a sexually explicit text message. Langwell continued to communicate with the officer in a sexually explicit nature via text messages and suggested they meet up.
On Nov. 15, 2017, Langwell and the officer agreed to meet in person. Langwell traveled to the prearranged meeting site to meet with whom he believed was a 16-year-old girl for sex. Agents conducted surveillance of the prearranged meeting site and saw Langwell in the parking lot. Law enforcement moved in and arrested Langwell. Agents located condoms and a bottle of lubricant in Langwell’s possession. Additionally, a test message was sent to Langwell’s phone, and agents confirmed it was the same phone used to communicate with the under-cover agent..
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.
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 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
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. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.