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Child Exploitation

HSI special agents arrest El Paso man on coercion, enticement charges

HSI special agents arrest El Paso man on coercion, enticement charges
HSI special agents arrest El Paso man on coercion, enticement charges

EL PASO, Texas — A local man, who is charged with soliciting to have sex, made his first appearance in federal court Monday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents on Friday arrested Efren Ulises Cavaness-Morales, 25, of the 8900 block of Lawson Street.

He is charged with attempted coercion and enticement, and attempted transfer of obscene materials to minors.

Last month, Cavaness-Morales posted an ad soliciting for sex. During an HSI undercover investigation, Cavaness-Morales expressed he would like to have sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old. And he emailed pictures of his genitals to whom he thought was a teen-age girl, according to court documents.

On Friday, when Cavaness-Morales arrived at the location he thought was the 14-year-old girl's home to have sex with the teen, HSI special agents arrested him.

His detention hearing is set for March 7 in U.S. Magistrate Judge Norbert J. Garney's courtroom.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.