Texas AG: Eight arrested for online solicitation of minors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday that eight suspected child predators have been arrested following a joint sting operation between the Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit and the Victoria Police Department.

“Eight individuals who have been arrested no longer pose a threat to the children of Texas,” Paxton said. “Unfortunately, the dangers of the world can infiltrate any home via computers, tablets  or even a phone. I am grateful for the individuals working in our Child Exploitation Unit and the dedicated law enforcement officials they work with to bring individuals like these to justice.”

According to a release from the AG’s office, the sting targeted child predators who utilize the internet to sexually solicit and then travel with the intent of committing sex crimes against a minor.

The following individuals were arrested when they arrived at a pre-determined meeting location in Victoria and have been charged with online solicitation of a minor:

Joe Angel Lopez, 41, of Victoria;             

Cedric Rene Ramirez, 18, of Victoria;

Mark Edward Lemke, 37, of Victoria;

Alfonso Enrique Estraca, 32, of Victoria;

Alfredo Serna, Jr., 45, of Port Lavaca;

Jeffrey Davis Campbell, Jr., 29, of Austin;

Jorge Luis Santillan, 39, of Corpus Christi; and

Terry Dewayne Matula, 32, of Bloomington.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by taking child predators off the internet and into jail, proactively seeking out and arresting predators who commit crimes against children using technology and the internet. They utilize the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators on the Internet.

Paxton urges all parents and teachers to realize the risks our children face online and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety. For more information on cyber safety, go to texasattorneygeneral.gov/cj/cyber-safety.