Adam Joshua Cortez, 31, of Justin, Texas, was convicted by a jury after a two day trial. Cortez faces a statutory sentence of not less than 20 years and up to life in prison on the enticement charge. He faces an additional mandatory 10-year sentence, which must run consecutive to any other sentence, for committing this offense while registered as a sex offender. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to a lifetime term of supervised release. Sentencing is set for July 27, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Lynn.
The government presented evidence at trial that Cortez used the Internet and a cell phone in July 2011 to entice an individual, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, to engage in sexual activity. That individual, however, was an undercover police officer. Cortez was twice convicted in state courts of offenses similar to child enticement in 2002 and 2004. In fact, the second of those convictions occurred while he was on probation for committing the first offense.
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-DHS-2ICE 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa J. Miller and Leigha A. Simonton, Northern District of Texas, are prosecuting the case.